Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Sunday that he is expecting “many indictments” from the investigation by special counsel John Durham into the notorious Steele dossier, arguing that everyone involved in creating the file is in “jeopardy.”
Ratcliffe made the claim on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” days after Igor Danchenko, a key contributor to the dossier, was arrested on charges that he lied to the FBI regarding his sources — one of whom turned out to be a PR executive with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“When I became the director of national intelligence [in May 2020], I said ‘Listen, I want to see all of the intelligence about this supposed Russian collusion,’ 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’ve now declassified, that there was collusion involving the Clinton campaign and Russians to create a dossier,” Ratcliffe told host Maria Bartiromo.
The dossier in question was put together by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was paid to investigate ties between Russia and Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The intelligence company that contracted Steele — Fusion GPS — was later discovered to have been funded by Hillary Clinton.
The majority of Steele’s research and claims have been discredited, including that Russian security services possessed a tape of Trump in a Moscow hotel room with prostitutes who were urinating on a bed where the Obamas had previously stayed.
Danchenko, a Russian citizen living in Virginia, later admitted to the FBI that the so-called “pee tape” claim was based on “rumor and speculation.”
The Russian is now the third person to face criminal charges from the probe led by Durham, who was appointed by Trump’s Justice Department in May 2019 to investigate what the former president repeatedly decried as a “witch hunt.”
“Igor Danchenko is the third person to be criminally indicted in connection with the Steele dossier for peddling something that was known to be false to the FBI,” Ratcliffe said. “But what’s important here is [then-CIA Director] John Brennan’s own notes reflect, and the other documents that I declassified show, that our intelligence community and our FBI knew this ahead of time, that Hillary Clinton — we had specific intelligence that Hillary Clinton was creating a plan to vilify Donald Trump, to falsely accuse him of ties Russia, and the intelligence community and FBI knew this, and President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were briefed.”
“Everything related to the Steele dossier was known to be untrue, but yet it was the predicate for moving forward with an unjust, unfair, and ultimately now, everyone accepts, a criminally negligent investigation against the Trump campaign,” he added.
Last October, Ratcliffe declassified documents related to claims Clinton ordered “a campaign plan to stir up a scandal” by linking Trump to Russia in 2016, which also indicated then-President Barack Obama knew about her possible role.
“Many of the documents that John Durham is using are documents that I gave him. So 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 that I know, including intelligence that goes specifically to this criminal activity that would be the basis for further indictments,” the ex-spy chief said.
“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, and I know that that’s what John Durham is looking at, and as I talked about, this goes to the highest levels of our government and government agencies involved.”
“I continue to think there will be many indictments based on the intelligence that I gave to John Durham and that I have seen,” he continued.
Steele has defended his research into then-candidate Trump, telling ABC News host George Stephanopoulos last month that “I stand by the work we did, the sources that we had, and the professionalism which we applied to it.”
However, the former MI-6 man did acknowledge that not all of the claims in the file were true.
“I think there are parts of the dossier which have been stood up, there are parts of the dossier that haven’t been stood up,” Steele said. “And there are one or two things in it which have been proven wrong.”
Earlier this year, FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to a year of probation and 400 hours of community service after admitting to falsifying a document used as justification to renew a wiretap against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
In September, cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann was indicted on a charge of making false statements to the FBI. Prosecutors alleged that Sussmann falsely claimed that he was not advising the Clinton campaign when he raised concerns in September 2016 about purported ties between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank. The FBI reportedly investigated and found insufficient evidence for such a link.