OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Sunday accused a leading Democratic lawmaker of intentionally peddling a false narrative against then-President Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 election to sway the outcome while adding that a noted Democrat-aligned law firm could also be guilty of a criminal “conspiracy” during the 2016 election cycle.
In an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, Ratcliffe, a former U.S. Representative from Texas who left Congress to serve as DNI during the latter portion of Trump’s term, pointed a finger at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as well as the entire Perkins Coie law firm, the latter of which could eventually be indicted by special counsel John Durham, he said.
Durham, who was appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the so-called “Trump-Russia collusion” narrative, which has been debunked, has so far indicted two people in his investigation: Former FBI lawyer John Clinesmith, who lied on applications to the FISA court in order to secure surveillance warrants against 2016 Trump campaign adviser Carter Page; and Michael Sussmann, a Clinton campaign lawyer accused of lying to the FBI about a disproven link between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank.
Clinesmith pleaded guilty, avoiding prison and receiving a 12-month probation sentence along with 400 hours of community service.
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty.
Addressing the infamous Hunter Biden laptop revelations, Ratcliffe told Bartiromo that Schiff and others likely conspired to downplay damaging links to shady business deals in Ukraine, Russia, and China ahead of the 2020 election to protect then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“What happened with Hunter Biden’s laptop in the weeks before the election…was a coordinated effort to keep information about Hunter and Joe Biden’s business dealings with foreign officials and countries that were on his laptop…to mislead the American people about those things,” Ratcliffe said, going on to say the filing of any serious charges of corruption against either Hunter Biden or his father would ultimately be up to Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland.
“This was a coordinated effort to mislead the American people” using “politicized intelligence,” the former DNI continued, regarding the downplaying of the laptop findings that included a statement from more than 50 currently serving and former U.S. intelligence community officials claiming that the info on the computer was likely “Russian disinformation.”
“Adam Schiff claiming that this was Russian disinformation and then it being peddled by Big Tech and former Obama national security officials who all signed on to, again, in the weeks leading up to 2020, to influence the outcome of the election,” he said. “I think they were successful in doing so.”
Later, Ratcliffe addressed some of Durham’s latest court filings that indicated the Trump Tower-Alfa Bank link was not “technically feasible” while also dispelling additional narratives implicating then-President Trump. He also said former Obama intelligence officials including DNI James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Director James Comey, were all aware that the accusations were “fraudulent.”
“This was a coordinated effort by Hillary Clinton Campaign officials, by executives who were working with them, lawyers who work for the campaign, all attempting to defraud the federal government… Defrauding the government is a felony, making false statements to federal investigators is a felony. And when multiple people do it together I think that is a conspiracy and I think that’s what is being revealed in John Durham’s filings,” he said.
He added: “If multiple lawyers from a law firm are attempting to defraud the government or lie to the government, not just commit a campaign dirty trick but to peddle a false narrative to mislead investigators an entire law firm like Perkins Coie could be subject to indictment.”