Intel Chief urges John Durham to release interim report in order to protect investigation
Chuck Ross, DCNF
John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, urged U.S. Attorney John Durham on Sunday to release an interim report on his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, saying that the American public should have record of the investigation in case the Biden administration shuts it down.
“I think the American people should know what’s happening in a two-year investigation into this and I hope that that report will be forthcoming,” Ratcliffe said in an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham special counsel on Oct. 19 to continue his investigation into whether government officials broke the law during the investigation of the Trump campaign.
Barr’s order says that Durham must produce a final report of his investigation and that he can release interim reports before the probe is over.
Some Democrats have questioned whether Durham is a duly appointed special counsel. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff noted in a Tuesday interview that the regulations for the appointment of special counsels requires that the prosecutor come from outside government.
Schiff suggested that Biden’s pick for attorney general should review Durham’s investigation to consider whether to allow the investigation to remain open.
“I would presume the next attorney general will look to see if there is any merit to the work that John Durham is doing and make a rational decision about whether that should continue at any level,” Schiff said in an interview on MSNBC.
The California Democrat called the Durham investigation “politically motivated” and indicated that he believes it should be shut down.
Barr tapped Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, on May 13, 2019, to conduct a review of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign and other U.S. agencies’ Trump-related intelligence-gathering activities.
The inquiry has since morphed into a full criminal investigation. Durham is investigating the findings of a Justice Department inspector general’s report that said the FBI misled a federal court in order to obtain warrants to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Ratcliffe said that Schiff’s remarks show that “an interim report be appropriate.”
“It would show whether or not there’s a good faith basis to continue and protect the work that’s been done,” Ratcliffe saioid. “I would encourage my colleagues over at the Department of Justice and at the FBI and in particular, special counsel Durham, to consider doing that, so that the American people can get the full accounting that they deserve.”
Ratcliffe has provided hundreds of intelligence documents to Durham’s team as part of his investigation. He announced on Oct. 7 that he had sent 1,000 pages of records to the Justice Department to support the probe.
Ratcliffe has also consulted with Durham regarding the declassification of FBI and intelligence documents regarding the Trump campaign and Russia.
Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and former member of the House Intelligence Committee, also said on Sunday that he believes that Durham should issue additional indictments in his investigation.
Durham has prosecuted one case so far in the probe. Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty on Aug. 19 to altering an email from the CIA regarding Carter Page.