- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 6, 2020

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Sunday that he wants to see an interim report on the Russia probe’s origins from special counsel John Durham, given the likelihood that Democrats will push to shut it down under a Biden administration.

Mr. Ratcliffe said that the “American people deserve a full accounting, but the special counsel regulations not only require a final report. They allow for interim reports” into the 2016 FBI investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane.

“I’d like to see an interim report that talks about this, from the angle of someone that has not only the intelligence community documents that I have, but the law enforcement documents that show there was no proper predicate for Crossfire Hurricane,” Mr. Ratcliffe said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” “because there certainly wasn’t any given by the intelligence community to the FBI before this illegal spying began.”

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday he had elevated Mr. Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, to special prosecutor in October, making it more difficult for the next administration to fire him.

Some Democrats, including House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, are expected to seek an end to the Durham investigation when President Trump leaves office.

“Chairman Schiff has indicated he thinks that the Durham investigation should end, which is exactly why an interim report would be appropriate,” said Mr. Ratcliffe.


Such a report “would show whether or not there’s a good-faith basis to continue,” he said. “It would protect the work that’s been done. So I would encourage my colleagues over at the Department of Justice and at the FBI and, in particular, now-special counsel Durham, to consider doing that, so that the American people can get the full accounting that they deserve.”

Mr. Durham’s team has issued one criminal indictment. Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August to altering an email used to justify the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Mr. Ratcliffe said that he thought that “there should be additional indictments.”

“Look, it’s not a question anymore whether or not there was illegal spying,” Mr. Ratcliffe said. “This idea that there was — it was — that there was not FISA abuse and it was a bunch of nonsense, look, someone is going to prison over that. It’s just a question now of how wide and how deep it was.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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