“I’ve been on administrative leave for almost three months with no explanation or update, and there is no sign that the NSA will attempt to resolve the issue. I am resigning from my position with immediate effect,” wrote Ellis NSA director general Paul Nakasone in a letter posted by the Post on Saturday. Fox News first reported on Ellis’ resignation.
Ellis said in his letter that Nakasone refused to meet with him “to address any concerns you may have about my selection,” adding that his attorney also “requested information so that I could misunderstand or Can dispel concerns “.
The NSA declined to comment on Ellis’ resignation to CNN.
Ellis had been put on administrative leave the day President Joe Biden took office – just a day after he started serving as the NSA’s chief attorney – because his appointment had been the subject of a general investigation by the Department of Defense inspector, a source saying who was familiar with the office investigation told CNN at the time.
The last minute installation by Ellis, a former Republican agent, has been scrutinized as the role of General Counsel with the largest intelligence agency in the country is a civil service position rather than a political role which means it is difficult for the Biden administration could have been remove Ellis.
The strategy of placing political loyalists in career positions is referred to as “digging” in the government.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, who called for an investigation into his selection in January, described Ellis’ appointment as “highly suspicious” and argued it was a “worrying disregard” for the country’s national security.
Prior to joining the Trump administration, Ellis was the chief adviser to California MP Devin Nunes, a Republican who was one of Trump’s most staunch supporters. He then became a lawyer with the National Security Council and refused to testify in the House’s 2019 impeachment investigation. In March 2020, Ellis became senior director of intelligence at the NSC, joining other Trump loyalists in key intelligence positions.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.