President Trump’s new nominee for Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), gave an interview to Fox News, on Sunday, July 28, in which he said he thought that Attorney General William Barr will soon bring to light criminal activity that took place under President Barak Obama’s administration.
Ratcliffe, a three-term congressman who will replace outgoing DNI Daniel Coats, if he is confirmed by the Senate, has gained visibility as an outspoken critic of the Mueller investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian interference in the election.
In particular, Ratcliffe was sharp in criticizing Mueller, during his hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, over the finding that Mueller “did not exonerate” the president, as no federal prosecutor is ever expected to exonerate a person under investigation. (A prosecutor simply analyzes evidence and then either makes a charge or does do not charge the person in question. There is no affirmative exoneration.)
Ratcliffe expects current investigations within the Justice Department to bring to light details surrounding the origin of the Mueller investigation that have been concealed to date. Speaking to Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo, Rattcliffe divulged a few details about the ongoing investigations.
“Now the things that Bob Mueller said he didn’t know about and his team clearly didn’t look at, those are things that would be fair for Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to look at,” Ratcliffe said. “Because we know that things happened in the Obama administration that haven’t been answered. There’s been no accountability for that yet.”
Ratcliffe continued, “It does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration. You talked earlier about Michael Flynn. His phone call with the Russian ambassador was a highly classified NSA intercept. Someone in the Obama administration leaked that call to the Washington Post. That’s a felony.”
Ratcliffe also questioned the role of Fusion GPS, the firm that contracted with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to produce a dossier to implicate then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Ratcliffe said, “Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS, in talking about the Steele dossier, said under oath that he and [former Deputy Attorney General] Bruce Ohr did not meet until after the election. Bruce Ohr said under oath that they met three months before the election. One of them is not telling the truth. We need a process to identify that.”
In regard to former FBI Director James Comey, who leaked internal memos from President Trump to a media reporter, Ratcliffe posed the question, “[Comey] admitted that he leaked his confidential conversations with the president to a reporter. Did that include classified information? We need a fair process to find out answers to that.”
Two separate investigations are being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham and Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Horowitz seeks to determine whether FBI Chief James Comey followed proper court procedures when he issued an initial FISA warrant used to place the Trump campaign under surveillance. Findings in his report are expected to be released sometime this fall.
Details of Durham’s investigation are being kept confidential for the time being. However, The Associated Press reported that the attorney general seeks to determine whether the intelligence activities to investigate the Trump campaign were “lawful and appropriate.”
Ratcliffe concluded, “I trust, because Bill Barr has earned my trust already and the trust of the American people, that there’ll be a fair process with [U.S. Attorney] John Durham and with Michael Horowitz to get answers … and provide accountability where it really belongs.”