National Security Agency General Counsel Michael Ellis — a holdover from the Trump administration — is resigning after being placed on indefinite leave by President Biden, per a letter to NSA Director Paul Nakasone obtained by Fox News.
Ellis served as the NSA’s top attorney, beginning the day before President Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 19. However, he was put on administrative leave and Biden officials opened a security inquiry on Jan. 20.
“It has been an honor to protect my country as a national security professional since 2007, and I remain ready to serve as General Counsel of NSA,” Ellis wrote in his letter Friday.
“However, I have been on administrative leave for nearly three months without any explanation or updates, and there is no sign that NSA will attempt to resolve the issue. I therefore resign my position, effective immediately.”
Despite being months into his employment with the agency, Ellis’s biography page at the NSA has remained pending.
Ellis’s treatment wasn’t taken lightly by conservatives who believe he was punished for the actions of those in the Trump administration that the Biden administration didn’t care for.
“What happened to Michael Ellis reeks of political payback, and Intelligence Committee Republicans will be closely examining all these events,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, told Fox News in a statement.
Prior to working as an attorney for the National Security Council Ellis was the White House’s senior director for intelligence under former President Donald Trump.
Ellis was placed on leave due to a pending Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General (IG) evaluation and an NSA security inquiry into the handling of classified information, according to Fox News.