What We've Seen So Far Is Just a Trickle: Ex-Trump Spymaster Says Durham Will Blow Inquiry Wide Open
As a former director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe has been privy to much of the classified information that’s making up part of special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the “Russia collusion” hoax.
And in an interview last week, he predicted that, based on documents that “are not yet declassified,” the trickle of information Durham has produced so far could turn into a deluge and, as the Washington Examiner put it, the inquiry will be “blown wide open.”
It was a “coordinated effort,” Ratcliffe said. And it can’t be allowed to happen again.
The former three-term congressmen from Texas made the remarks during an interview with conservative podcast host Charlie Kirk that aired last week.
Kirk began by asking whom Durham is targeting. Although Ratcliffe did not name Hillary Clinton herself, he replied that the collusion involves members of her campaign, the Democratic National Committee, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and “even folks within the FBI that perpetuated what they knew to be a false narrative for some period of time.”
As a U.S. representative before being appointed DNI in 2020, Ratcliffe said he’d been “at the tip of the spear” of the Democrats’ “Russia collusion” allegations against then-President Donald Trump. When Ratcliffe became the DNI, he told Kirk, he asked to see “everything that we’ve got” on this “so-called Russian collusion.”
The documents showed that “there was no Russian collusion, but that there was fake Russian collusion,” Ratcliffe said.
“We had collected good intelligence indicating who was involved in the origins of the Russiagate hoax. … It was the Hillary Clinton campaign that had started these fake Russian allegations and that was incorporated in the CIA Director John Brennan’s notes,” he said.
Ratcliffe said he declassified those notes and shared a great deal of information with Durham to “allow him to get to the truth.”
Former Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann, whom Durham indicted in September for allegedly lying to the FBI, is just one of many characters involved in what Ratcliffe characterized as a “hoax perpetrated on the American public.”
Besides Sussman, there have been only two other indictments.
Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation after pleading guilty in August 2020 to a charge of making a false statement in connection with altering a document was submitted by the FBI for a warrant to continue surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Igor Danchenko, a Russia analyst for the liberal Brookings Institute and a contributor to the “dossier” compiled by Steele, has been charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. He has pleaded innocent, with a trial scheduled for October, according to a Fox News report from January.
There are likely more on the horizon, Ratcliffe told Kirk.
“I expect there to be a lot more indictments to be forthcoming from John Durham besides the ones that have trickled out so far, and that’s based upon documents, many of which are still not yet declassified,” Ratcliffe said.
Referring to a portion of a Durham court filing that noted “five other witnesses” related to the investigation had “invoked (or indicated their intent to invoke) the right against self-incrimination,” Kirk asked Ratcliffe why he thought those witnesses have turned to the Fifth Amendment.
Ratcliffe explained that collusion cases are often difficult to prove. Some of those caught up in them may feel, “Why help the prosecutor? … The more I talk, the more trouble I get into,” he said.
“But there are other folks, Charlie, that very clearly have exercised their Fifth Amendment rights because their prior testimony jeopardizes them.”
He cited former high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Orr. Ratcliffe described how, when he was still a congressman and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Orr had testified “under oath to me” that he’d met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in August 2016, and that Simpson had given Orr a thumb drive that contained “aspects of the Steele Dossier.”
(Note: Simpson’s opposition research firm had been commissioned by Democrat attorney Marc Elias, a partner in the Perkins, Coie law firm, who was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, to produce the infamous dossier. It’s also noteworthy that Bruce Orr’s wife, Nellie Orr, had been hired by Simpson during the 2016 campaign to help dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump and his family, according to a Fox News report in 2017.)
Meanwhile, Simpson, Ratcliffe said, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he hadn’t met Bruce Orr “until sometime after the election.”
That obviously contradicts Orr’s testimony.
“Very clearly, two people are giving different testimony under oath. One of them, only one of them, can be telling the truth about that and one of them obviously has misled federal investigators and committed a crime,” Ratcliffe said.
Kirk then cited another Durham court filing to ask about “insiders with top security clearances” who “accessed the White House computers, looking for dirt on Trump, and then distributed that information among Hillary Clinton surrogates.”
(The dry language of the Durham filing refers to such activities as taking place “for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.”)
“Have we ever seen anything like this before?” Kirk asked.
“Disclosure of highly sensitive, classified information is a crime,” Ratcliffe said. He provided a lengthy explanation of how classified information should be handled and how these individuals deviated from that protocol.
But it’s “much larger” than even that, he told Kirk.
“The coordinated effort here that took place in 2016 was wide and broad” and “involved folks in the Clinton campaign, the Democratic national party, elected officials, media officials … intelligence community officials and on down the line.
“I’m not saying that every single one of those folks have criminal liability or exposure, I’m just saying this was a very coordinated effort,” Ratcliffe said.
“And the more and more the public finds out about some of the things that I’ve seen that remain classified, they’ll be more and more appalled by those efforts in 2016.”
Kirk said it’s crucial to get to the bottom of the Russia collusion hoax — for the sake of the country.
“This is a fight for the structure of the Constitution, for the promise of citizen-government. For the consent of the governed and checks and balances,” he said. “If we don’t get this right, then a political candidate will be able to use any sort of law enforcement apparatus in the future to be able to get their wishes.”
He asked if the word “coup” would apply.
“How big of an operation, how serious of an operation, are we talking about here?” he asked. “This is beyond just paperwork, or lying to federal agents.”
“It was a coordinated political effort … But, at the end of the day, it was to influence the outcome of a presidential election,” Ratcliffe said.
“In 2016, they were unsuccessful in ultimately changing the will of the people and the outcome of that election. But … if there isn’t accountability, it happens again. And that’s exactly what happened in 2020.”
Ratcliffe then noted that some of the same principals from the “Russia collusion” hoax that bedeviled the Trump presidency for two years were on stage again in 2020. They helped shape the election that ended the Trump presidency, with its pre-COVID vibrant economy and foreign policy successes and replaced it with the Biden administration and its string of failures, at home and abroad.
Just weeks ahead of the 2020 election, and the day after The New York Post broke its bombshell news about Hunter Biden’s laptop, Ratcliffe said, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat who was one of the chief drivers of the “Russia collusion” investigation, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the laptop story was all Russian disinformation intended to reelect President Trump.
Rep. Adam Schiff says he’s concerned that he hasn’t “gotten much from the intelligence community” on Russia peddling disinformation.
“At times, some of the leadership, like Director Ratcliffe, not been very forthcoming in terms of the intelligence on the Russian threat.” pic.twitter.com/JhcVYlCgcf
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) October 16, 2020
Additionally, 51 former high-ranking members of the U.S. intelligence community, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former DNI James Clapper, published a statement on Oct. 19, 2020, that said the story had all the hallmarks of “Russian disinformation.” It was a full-court press.
Then-DNI Ratcliffe, who was privy to the actual intelligence, went on the record that same day with Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” to negate that premise, according to Fox News.
Unfortunately, his words were drowned out by the overwhelming power of Big Tech, the legacy media and the entire Democratic machine, all working together, to suppress and/or discredit the story.
His appeal was in vain. It was too late. The damage had been done. And the United States is living with the consequences of the Joe Biden presidency every day.
But Ratcliffe was right then. And he’s right now.
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