On Dec. 16, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe was told by officers within the Intelligence Community (IC) that they were unable to submit an assessment on foreign interference to the 2020 presidential election by Dec. 18. This date of submission was established in an executive order issued by Pres. Trump in 2018. It mandated the assessment to be submitted 45 days after Election Day. Foreign individuals, entities, and nations found to have interfered in the elections would be subject to sanctions by the U.S. government.
The delay raised alarm among many security experts, with some former intelligence officials warning that this would have long-term adverse implications and even damage America’s democracy. Ratcliffe was notified that the delay in submitting the report was due to new information regarding the election was still being received by the IC and that various agencies had not finished coordinating on the final report.
Bart Marcois, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs during the Bush administration, expressed dismay at the IC’s delay. He stated in an interview with The Epoch Times.: “I think that’s dishonesty on the part of the bureaucrats inside the intelligence community… I’ve never known the IC to say to a president — or even to a deputy assistant secretary — that we don’t have sufficient information to answer your question… They would say we don’t have complete information, but here is our report based on the information that we have at this time.”
Marcois believed the only reason for the delay was that the IC intended to stonewall the report’s completion so that it could not form the basis of appeals to state legislatures, Supreme Court, or the Congress to invalidate the electoral college votes of the disputed states.
Former CIA official Gary Bernsten, a recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, expressed concern about the delay and warned that the county was heading toward “serious internal division.” He noted that the experts who raised a hue and cry on foreign interference and voter fraud in the 2016 election are now silent, and characterized any person to be “a fool” to look at all the witnesses and sources that claimed election fraud and still believed that there was nothing out of place in the presidential race.
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Pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell also asserts that China interfered in the elections and feels that when the DNI report is released, it will have massive implications.
“We know that there were hundreds of thousands of fraudulent ballots imported into the country, likely from China. We have video of some coming across the border from Mexico… If that report is an honest report, it’s going to blow the mind of every citizen in the country who’s willing to look at the truth and the facts, because we’ve never witnessed anything like this in the history of this country… And it’s got to be stopped right now or there will never be a free and fair election,” she said on the program “American Thought Leaders.”
In early December, Ratcliffe had warned in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that China wanted to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the world technologically, economically, and militarily. He called Beijing the biggest threat to freedom and democracy worldwide since the Second World War. He called China’s approach of economic espionage against the United States as “rob, replicate, and replace,” meaning that China steals intellectual properties from American companies, replicates the information to create new products or services, and then replaces U.S. firms from the global market by selling those products and services.