The "truth will defend itself" and that is starting happening with special counsel John Durham's investigation into the origins of the FBI's probe into whether former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Sunday.
"What's important here, [former CIA Director] John Brennan's own notes reflect, and the other document that I declassified, show that our intelligence community and our FBI knew this ahead of time, that we had specific intelligence, that Hillary Clinton was creating a plan to vilify Donald Trump, to falsely accuse him of ties to Russia, and that the intelligence community and the FBI knew this," Ratcliffe told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.
His comments were in reaction to the arrest of Igor Danchenko, the analyst considered the primary researcher of the Steele dossier that sparked the FBI's investigation.
Danchenko has been charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI, and Ratcliffe said more indictments will follow.
"When I became the director of national intelligence I said, 'Listen, I want to see all of the intelligence about this supposed Russian collusion,'" Ratcliffe said. "And what I found was, and as you're finding out is, there was, of course, no Russian collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. But what I did see in intelligence documents, some of which I have now declassified, that there was collusion involving the Clinton campaign and Russians to create a dossier."
He said then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were briefed in early August of 2016 and the investigation should have stopped then.
"Everything related to the Steele dossier was known to be untrue, but it was the predicate for moving forward with an unjust, unfair, and ultimately, now everyone accepts, a criminally negligent investigation against the Trump campaign," Ratcliffe said. "It was a crime to investigate Donald Trump, because there was no probable cause, as FBI Director Christopher Wray has admitted under oath. There was no probable cause for the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) applications, because they used the Steele dossier and it was phony."
Meanwhile, then-FBI agent Peter Strzok was to have been investigating the Steele dossier, but he buried the parts related to Clinton and used the document – "which he knew to be false" – to get the FISA warrants to investigate the campaign, Ratcliffe said.
"He knew it to be illegal and used it to perpetuate an investigation that went on for four years, that misrepresented everything to the American people," Ratcliffe said. "And that's why everyone associated with the Steele dossier – with its creation, its peddling to the FBI, and its use by law enforcement authorities against the Trump campaign illegally – is in criminal jeopardy right now."
He added, he gave Durham many of the documents that he is now using in the investigation.
"I declassified the documents that we've talked about, but I gave John Durham over 1,000 other documents that have not yet been declassified," Ratcliffe said. "That would be the basis for further indictments and, again, what happened with the Steele dossier, a grand jury is saying was criminal in nature.
"And I expect that all of the folks that are involved with creating it and peddling it, falsely, would be in jeopardy."
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