Former US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe has expressed hope that new indictments will come out of Special Counsel John Durham’s inquiry into the origins of the FBI investigation of ex-President Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In an interview with Fox News, Ratcliffe said that “[then-Attorney General] Bill Barr, John Durham, and I, all looking at this intelligence, agreed there was not a proper predicate to open a criminal investigation into the Trump campaign, yet that happened.”
“So, those are the issues that John Durham is looking at, and I think there’ll be many more — I would expect there to be quite a few more indictments because of that. There was not a proper predicate to begin that investigation. John Durham has said that publicly already”, the ex-DNI chief added.
Ratcliffe did not elaborate on who exactly he expected to be indicted. He instead moved on, referring in the interview to a discussion he had with Durham in the fall of 2020, when the former DNI boss ordered the declassification of documents related to the FBI’s “Russiagate” probe.
“We talked about [then-CIA Director] John Brennan’s notes, talked about, you know, [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisers. Obviously, the pleadings talk about Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyers, now you’re talking about consultants”, Ratcliffe said.
He claimed that Brennan briefed then-President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden as well as other members of the national security team about “this specific intelligence, that John Durham now has, about a Hillary Clinton plan to falsely accuse and vilify Donald Trump with a scandal, and the discussion around that and whether or not it was good intelligence”.
According to the former DNI chief, Durham found evidence of “a conspiracy, meaning two or more people in furtherance of a crime; and anyone that was aware that this campaign plan was going to be falsely pitched to the FBI or the CIA or law enforcement or intelligence authorities would be subject to criminal prosecution for any number of criminal crimes — mail fraud, wire fraud, lying under oath, congressional testimony, false testimony to prosecutors, all of those things”.
The remarks came as Fox News reported that the Durham probe has “accelerated”, with more people “cooperating” and testifying before a grand jury than was previously revealed. The news network cited an unnamed source as saying that there has been “much more activity” behind the scenes “than has been visible to the public”, and that Durham “does this right and keeps it a secret”.
The claims were preceded by the special counsel revealing in a new filing that in the run-up to the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign paid a tech company to “infiltrate” Trump Tower and White House servers, with the alleged goal of smearing the then Republican presidential hopeful by linking him to Russia.
Trump responded by claiming Durham’s filing “proves indisputable evidence” that his campaign and presidency “were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia”, which has repeatedly rejected all “collusion” allegations.
In April 2019, a report by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed that his probe found insufficient evidence to prove collaboration between Russia and Trump’s campaign team ahead of the 2016 election.
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