Who Is Rep. John Ratcliffe, the North Texas Republican Tapped by Trump to Be Next Intel Chief?

WASHINGTON — Thirty-five minutes into the spectacle that was former special counsel Robert Mueller’s appearance last week before Congress, Heath Rep. John Ratcliffe took his turn at defending President Donald Trump against Mueller’s wide-ranging Russia investigation.The Republican, a former federal prosecutor, did not mince words.“Donald Trump is not above the law — he’s not,” said Ratcliffe, who tangled with the special counsel that day as a member of both the House judiciary and intelligence committees. “But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law, which is where Volume 2 of this report puts him.”Four days later, on Sunday, Trump picked the Texan to be his next intelligence chief.Whether or not Ratcliffe’s questioning at the Mueller hearings sealed his nomination — one that requires Senate confirmation — the performance showed how he has emerged in recent months as one of Congress’ staunchest critics of the various probes into the president’s alleged misdeeds.On cable TV and in House hearings, Ratcliffe has stood steadfast behind Trump, all while employing a decidedly un-Trumpian approach one might expect from a former U.S. attorney.  Continue reading...

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