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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says he’s turned over “thousands of documents” to U.S. Attorney John Durham during his investigation into the origins of the so-called “Russian collusion” probe of the 2016 Trump campaign.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner published Thursday, Ratcliffe said he’s counting on Durham to uncover the truth about what the DNI believes is monumental corruption and wrongdoing by officials tied to the Russia investigation.
However, he added, that doesn’t mean all of what he’s passed along to Ratcliffe should be declassified and revealed due to the sensitivity of sources.
“Between my predecessor Richard Grenell in an acting capacity and myself, we have declassified most of the intelligence community documents that would be suitable for the public to see, that wouldn’t jeopardize sources and methods,” he told the outlet.
“There are others, many many documents — I think it’s been out there that I’ve provided literally thousands of documents to John Durham, but many of those do contain sources and methods that we can’t make public for a number of reasons, including to jeopardize any investigation that’s going there,” Ratcliffe continued.
“So I think the level of cooperation — I’ve given them everything that they’ve asked for,” he added.
Durham was tapped by Attorney General William Barr in May 2019 to investigate what led the FBI under then-President Barack Obama to launch what became a counterintelligence operation into allegations that the Trump campaign was working with Russia to steal the election from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Earlier this week, however, Barr elevated Durham to special prosecutor status, which The Hill says will make it more difficult for Joe Biden, should he be inaugurated as president, to fire him or shut down his probe.
Some Republicans had expressed a hope that Durham’s investigation, which so far has netted only one minor conviction, would have been completed before the election and that there would have been mass declassification of documents linked to the Obama-era probe.
And in early October, it appeared the mass declassifications were going to happen. President Trump tweeted: “I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”
He added that “all Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country. Act!!!”
Following a federal court order, however, Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told the judge later in the month the president’s tweet was not a declassification order.
Barr has said that Durham ought to at least submit a final report so Americans can find out what he uncovered.
“I don’t know what conclusions he is going to come to but people deserve the truth — they deserve a full accounting of it,” Ratcliffe told the Washington Examiner.
Nevertheless, he noted, “There was an abuse of power and of legal authorities, and it’s not a question about whether those things took place — they did. I mean, there’s an FBI lawyer who is going to jail for counterfeiting evidence before the FISA court. And that after all of the Obama-Biden senior national security officials said the idea of illegal spying and abuse at the FISA court is a bunch of nonsense, and now, they’re sprinting in the opposite direction,” Ratcliffe continued.
“I mean, literally, every one of them — Comey, McCabe, Yates — they’ve all said, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re shocked and had we only known,’” he added.
“And so, again, the American people deserve an accounting, and I’ve certainly provided a lot of information to the now-special counsel to provide that accounting, and I’m counting, like all Americans, on him to talk about a lot of the things that I know that I can’t talk about.”
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