Top Democrat on Senate Intel panel pans Trump's DNI pick

 
“The President has selected an individual without any intelligence experience to serve as the leader of the nation’s intelligence community in an acting capacity," Warner said in a statement. 
 
He added that Grenell will be Trump's second acting director of national intelligence since Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsFBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Former Intel chief had 'deep suspicions' that Putin 'had something on Trump': book MORE, who was easily confirmed by the Senate, stepped down last year. Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireCongressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones Hillicon Valley: Pompeo floats TikTok ban | Civil rights groups slam Facebook after call | Election security funding included in proposal MORE has served in the role since August but is required by law to leave the position by March 12.
 
Warner argued that the reliance on an acting director, which allows the individual to avoid Senate confirmation, was an apparent effort to "sidestep the Senate’s constitutional authority to advise and consent on such critical national security positions, and flouting the clear intent of Congress when it established the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in 2004."
 
Trump formally announced his decision to tap Grenell for the top intelligence post in a tweet on Wednesday night, saying he had "represented our Country exceedingly well." 
 
But his appointment is likely to set off alarm bells among Democrats and some national security professionals, who have publicly worried in the wake of impeachment that Trump is feeling emboldened. 
 
Grenell is viewed as a Trump loyalist and is one of the more trusted members of the administration and is close with Trump’s family, especially Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. 
 
Warner pledged that he would work to make sure "the work of our intelligence professionals is never interfered with or manipulated for political ends.”

“The intelligence community deserves stability and an experienced individual to lead them in a time of massive national and global security challenges," he said.

"And at a time when the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice has been called into grave question, now more than ever our country needs a Senate-confirmed intelligence director who will provide the best intelligence and analysis, regardless of whether or not it’s expedient for the President who has appointed him," he continued. 
 
Grenell has served as U.S. ambassador to Germany since April 2018, when he was confirmed by the Senate in a largely party-line vote.
 
He served during the George W. Bush administration as the director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.