Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said he anticipates “many indictments” in special counsel John Durham's investigation into the creation and use of the infamous anti-Trump dossier tied to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

This prediction, shared by other allies of former President Donald Trump, follows the indictment last week against Igor Danchenko, a U.S.-based and Russian-born analyst who was the main source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele's now-discredited dossier, which was used by the FBI during its inquiry into ties between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

Danchenko was charged with making false statements to the FBI about his sources of information, including about the role longtime Clinton ally Charles Dolan played in supplying at least the basis of certain claims. Durham pointed out that Dolan, beyond helping the presidential campaigns of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, also spent years doing business in Russia, including for the Russian government, and worked with a host of Russians in 2016 while he met up with Danchenko in Moscow and passed information along to him, some details of which were apparently embellished by the Russian national and perhaps by Steele himself.

“When I became the director of national intelligence, 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 Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures.


Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman from Texas who served as overseer of the nation's 17 intelligence agencies in the latter part of the Trump administration, announced in October that he handed over nearly 1,000 pages of materials to the Justice Department to assist with Durham's investigation into the origins and conduct of the Russia investigation.

Ratcliffe also declassified two heavily redacted, Russia-related documents, including handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan showing he briefed then-President Barack Obama in 2016 on an unverified Russian intelligence report which claimed Clinton planned in July 2016 on tying then-candidate Trump to Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee to distract from her email scandal. The other document was a September 2016 investigative referral from the CIA to now-fired FBI Director James Comey and now-fired Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Operations Peter Strzok related to the same topic.

In response to the release, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said the claims were “baseless bullshit." Brennan decried what he called Ratcliffe's "selective declassification."

But three indictments into Durham's investigation, Ratcliffe said the documents he declassified not only hold up but implicate the highest levels of the Obama and Biden administrations.

“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 Sunday. “But what’s important here is 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."

He added, “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.”

In particular, Danchenko was charged Thursday “with five counts of making false statements to the FBI” that Durham claims he made about the information he provided for Steele's dossier. He has indicated that he plans to plead not guilty.

“The person who was supposed to be investigating the fake Steele dossier before John Durham ever got involved was Peter Strzok, and instead, what he did was bury that part of it as related to Hillary Clinton and instead took a dossier that he knew to be false, used it to get a FISA application that he knew 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.”

Strzok, who played a key role in opening and running the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, has hit the airwaves in recent days, criticizing Durham’s investigation. He was fired from the FBI after the discovery of numerous anti-Trump texts exchanged with then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Ratcliffe insisted that all signs point to Durham zeroing in on the dossier controversy. “I know that” Durham is looking into handing down further indictments, he told Bartiromo. He referred to the documents he provided to the special counsel last year.

“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,” Ratcliffe 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.”

Ratcliffe added, "I continue to think there will be many indictments based on the intelligence that I gave to John Durham and that I have seen."

Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department, who conducted his own investigation into the conduct of the Russia investigation, released a report in December 2019 that concluded Steele's Clinton campaign-funded dossier played a "central and essential" role in the FBI's effort to obtain wiretap orders against Carter Page, a 2016 Trump campaign adviser who was never charged with a crime and denied any wrongdoing. The DOJ watchdog criticized the bureau for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions."

Horowitz said Danchenko “contradicted the allegations of a ‘well-developed conspiracy’” in Steele’s dossier.


Two other people have been charged in Durham's yearslong investigation.

Durham obtained a guilty plea from former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted last year that he falsified a document during the bureau’s efforts to renew FISA surveillance authority against Carter Page by editing a CIA email in 2017 to state that Page was “not a source” for the CIA.

A September indictment against attorney Michael Sussmann centers on a September 2016 meeting between him and then-FBI general counsel James Baker in which Sussmann pushed allegations of a secret backchannel between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. While Durham says Sussmann told Baker he was not working for any client, the special counsel contends he was secretly doing the bidding of Clinton’s campaign and billing it to her, as well as working on behalf of technology executive Rodney Joffe. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI.