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DNI Ratcliffe informs Congress that election security briefings will now be given in written form

New protocol will help ensure that intelligence briefings are not 'misunderstood nor politicized,' Ratcliffe says.

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John Ratcliffe in Sept. 2019
John Ratcliffe in Sept. 2019
(Tom Williams/Getty)
Updated: August 29, 2020 - 8:30pm

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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe informed senators and representatives on Friday that election security briefings, previously given to Congress in person, will between now and the November elections be delivered in written form. 

The letter, which was sent on Friday and declassified on Saturday afternoon, notes that the intelligence community has given Congress dozens of briefings on election security over the past two years.

"While many of these engagements and products have been successful and productive, others have been less so," Ratcliffe wrote in the document. 

"In order to ensure clarity and consistency across the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's ... engagements with Congress on elections," Ratcliffe continued, "the ODNI will primary meet its obligation to keep Congress fully and currently informed leading into the Presidential election through written finished intelligence products."

Ratcliffe said the move will help ensure that intelligence information is neither "misunderstood nor politicized," and that the new protocol will "protect our sources and methods and most sensitive intelligence from additional unauthorized disclosures or misuse."

Democrats on Saturday evening slammed the decision. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter that the move represented "a shocking abdication of [ODNI's] responsibility to keep Congress informed."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, meanwhile, claimed that the Trump administration "clearly does not want Congress or the country informed of what Russia is doing."