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Fmr. Trump intel chief says evidence for ‘multiple’ indictments in Durham’s Trump-Russia probe

Then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe speaks at a press conference Oct. 21, 2020.
February 14, 2022

John Ratcliffe, who served as the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) under President Donald Trump, believes there’s evidence to support indictments against “multiple people” who promoted false claims Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

In an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Ratcliffe said he expects Special Counsel John Durham to bring “quite a few more indictments” in his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion claims.

Ratcliffe’s comments came days after Durham alleged in a new court filing related to his ongoing prosecution of Michael Sussman — a lawyer for then-Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign — that Sussman and an unnamed tech executive worked to infiltrate Trump’s servers in an effort to establish an “inference” and “narrative” connecting Trump to the Russian government.

Durham’s filing Friday, describes an alleged effort by Sussman and a tech executive, referred to in documents as “Tech Executive 1,” to access private and proprietary Internet data to give government agencies the impression of a “covert communications channel” between the Trump organization and Russia.

In particular, Durham alleged Sussman and Tech Executive 1 worked with a U.S. university that already had access to large amounts of Internet data as part of a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract, including non-public Internet data. Durham further alleged Sussman compiled data appearing to show domain name system (DNS) traffic from Trump IP addresses to what Sussman described as a “rare” Russian mobile phone service. Durham said while Sussman characterized the Internet activity between the Trump organization and the Russian phone service as “suspicious,” Sussman omitted that more than 3 million U.S.-based DNS lookups for the Russian phone service had occurred between 2014 and 2017, fewer than 1,000 of which came from IP addresses linked to Trump Tower.

“What John Durham’s pleading talks about was Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, Michael Sussman, took this information from the tech executive and pitched it to the FBI as evidence of Trump-Russia connections that simply weren’t true and that the lawyer . . . and the tech executive knew not to be true,” Ratcliffe said.

In addition to Sussman, Durham has indicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, on a charge of altering an email which was then used to request an extension of a secret government surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign. Clinesmith pled guilty to the charge.

Durham has also indicted Igor Danchenko, a major source of allegations in an anti-Trump dossier prepared by Christopher Steele. Danchenko was charged with lying to the FBI about the source of his information, which ended up in the Steele dossier.

During the interview, Ratcliffe did not specify who else he thought Durham would bring indictments against, but referred back to a set of 2016 notes he declassified in September of 2020, belonging to former CIA director John Brennan. Ratcliffe said Brennan’s notes detailed a “Hillary Clinton campaign plan to create fake Russia collusion allegations or a scandal involving Donald Trump.”

Ratcliffe said “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 crimes, mail fraud, wire fraud, lying under oath, in congressional testimony, false testimony to prosecutors, all of those things. So it could go broadly and deeply.”