Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says he provided special counsel John Durham about 1,000 intelligence documents in Durham’s probe of the origins of the Russia collusion probe that may support additional charges after lawyer Michael Sussmann’s arrest last month.
“Sussmann’s is the first of what I would hope would be a number” of additional people who are charged in the probe, Ratcliffe told Fox News on Oct. 10. “I provided not just those declassified documents, but I provided 1,000 intelligence community documents that I think support additional charges that I would expect John Durham to bring.”
Then-Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham, the then-U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to investigate the origins of the investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. Sussmann was the second person to be charged in the investigation, coming about a year after former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was convicted, although he avoided prison time.
In 2020, Ratcliffe announced that he handed over hundreds of pages of materials to the Department of Justice to aid Durham’s investigation.
“I will continue to ensure the Intelligence Community’s responsiveness to the DOJ’s requests,” Ratcliffe, a former Texas congressman, said at the time. “We also look forward to supporting the DOJ in further declassifications consistent with their investigation. As the President has made clear, we must be appropriately transparent with the American people and give them the confidence that the extraordinary work of Intelligence professionals is never misused or politicized.”
In mid-September, Sussmann pleaded not guilty after he was charged with allegedly lying to the FBI when trying to present information that would damage then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Sussmann had worked with the high-powered Perkins Coie law firm that had represented the Democratic National Committee.
Before that, a Durham-empaneled grand jury indicted Sussmann over his September 2016 meeting with then-FBI general counsel James Baker, who is now employed by Twitter. He passed along an allegation that there were secret communications between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.
“Sussmann stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations ‘for any client,’ which led the FBI General Counsel to understand that Sussmann was acting as a good citizen merely passing along information, not as a paid advocate or political operative,” the indictment against Sussmann read.
The alleged false statement to the FBI “was intentionally false and misleading because, in assembling and conveying these allegations, Sussmann acted on behalf of specific clients, namely, a U.S. technology industry executive at a U.S. internet company, and the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign,” it read.