WASHINGTON • Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe revealed he is coordinating with U.S. Attorney John Durham in the federal prosecutor’s inquiry into the Russia investigation and expects to make further declassifications public soon.
Ratcliffe, who has overseen the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies since taking over the role in May, shed a bit of light on how the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is assisting in the “investigation of the investigators” investigation during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News and insisted he is working to ensure that any intelligence documents he releases don’t “prejudice” Durham’s inquiry.
“We’ve actually, for several months, been coordinating with his team of folks to make sure that he has access to all of the intelligence community documents that he needs,” Ratcliffe said of Durham.
“He’s looking at the same, some of the same documents that I am, and so our work is running on parallel paths. Now, his is a criminal investigation, and he’s not sharing his findings or the work that he’s doing, but I’m coordinating with him to make sure that he has the intelligence documents that he needs to do his work, and what I don’t want to do is declassify something that might prejudice his work, so we’re going to have to coordinate as we go forward the completion of his work with my ability to declassify documents, and so we’ve communicated along those lines.”
Durham collected his first guilty plea this month from former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to a false statements charge for altering a CIA email in 2017 that helped justify the continued Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act wiretapping of onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page by fraudulently adding that Page was “not a source” for the agency when the CIA had told Clinesmith and the bureau on multiple occasions that Page was an “operational contact” for them.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham contends the FBI misled the Senate Intelligence Committee in early 2018 about British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s primary subsource — recently revealed to be Russian-trained, Washington, D.C.-based lawyer Igor Danchenko — who the FBI knew by then had undermined the credibility of many of Steele’s Trump-Russia allegations across multiple interviews with him in early 2017.
Ratcliffe recently declassified the FBI memo showing Danchenko undercutting the reliability of the now-discredited Steele dossier.
“I was a congressman, and in that role, I felt strongly that the FBI had continued a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign without a proper predicate, in other words, illegally continued it, and obviously the Clinesmith plea and documents that I declassified in connection with that are related to that,” Ratcliffe said. “The question now is: Did the FBI have a proper predicate to begin a counterintelligence investigation at all?
And that’s the issue that John Durham is looking at, and it’s also the issue that I’m continuing to look at.”