Ellis was first tapped for the position in early November, just two days after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election and in the midst of a political purge of different agencies, including the Department of Defense.
But Ellis’ installation stalled, according to the Washington Post, because of administrative procedures, including the need for a polygraph test, leaving Miller to push for it in the waning days of Trump’s four years in office.
Before joining the Trump administration, Ellis served as the head counsel to California Rep. Devin Nunes, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters. Ellis then became a lawyer with the National Security Council, refusing to testify as part of the House’s 2019 impeachment inquiry. In March 2020, Ellis became the senior director for intelligence on the NSC, joining other Trump loyalists in key intelligence positions.
Ellis said, “I don’t talk to the press, thank you,” and hung up when reached by the Washington Post. CNN has been unable to reach Ellis.
Susan Hennessey, a former NSA attorney and CNN legal and national security analyst, ripped the decision to install Ellis in the Trump administration’s last weekend in power.