[Ed. – Fox gives a 19 January 2021 date for Michael Ellis’s arrival as NSA General Counsel. But the appointment was actually made by the Pentagon (the parent agency of NSA) in November 2020, a few days after the election. Speculation at the time was that Ellis’s role would be to watch for the use of NSA surveillance against Trump, his associates, and other Republicans, being vigilant for new measures that could be put to such purposes. The NSA General Counsel is typically consulted on such matters; the speculation was well founded.]
National Security Agency General Counsel Michael Ellis submitted his resignation in a Friday letter to NSA Director Paul Nakasone obtained by Fox News.
The Pentagon named Ellis to be the NSA’s top lawyer, starting a day before President Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 19, but the new administration immediately placed him on administrative leave and 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.”