The acting director of national intelligence has resigned, effective at the end of August, U.S. officials said Thursday, raising concerns that vacancies in the uppermost ranks of the nation's top spy office could create a security vulnerability if President Barack Obama's nominee for the post isn't confirmed soon.
David Gompert's departure could come before the Senate, scheduled to be in recess during August, has time to confirm Obama's nominee for the top intelligence post, James Clapper.
If Gompert leaves before Clapper is confirmed, chief of staff Lt. Gen. John Kimmons would step in temporarily, but Kimmons has announced his plans to retire.
"I would be concerned about the impact on our intelligence community," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.), chairman of the House intelligence committee. "It could be left without a centralized, focused direction at a time when we're initiating large-scale offensives in Afghanistan and, in the wake of several attempted domestic terrorism attacks, undertaking important steps to improve intelligence integration."
Obama fired his intelligence director, Dennis Blair, last month. The White House had hoped that Blair would stay on until his successor was confirmed, according to officials familiar with the matter. Blair instead said he would leave the following week on May 28.