EXCLUSIVE: National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified documents that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama about Hillary Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia. as “a means of distracting the public from its use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Fox News has learned.
Ratcliffe declassified Brennan’s handwritten notes – which were taken after informing Obama about the information he received from the CIA – and a CIA memo, which revealed that officials referred the matter to the FBI for potential investigative action.
On Tuesday afternoon, the National Intelligence Director̵
“Today, under the direction of President Trump, I declassified additional documents relating to ongoing Congressional oversight and investigative activities,” Ratcliffe said in a statement to Fox News Tuesday.
A source familiar with the documents explained that Brennan’s handwritten notes were taken after briefing Obama on the matter.
“We are getting more information on Russian assets from [REDACTED]”, It is read in Brennan’s notes [summarizing] It is alleged that Hillary Clinton approved a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to defame Donald Trump by causing a scandal that claims interference from the Russian security service, “Brennan’s notes read.
The notes state “July 28”. In the margin, Brennan writes “POTUS”, but that section of the notes is deleted.
“Any evidence of collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia,” the notes read.
The rest of the notes are crossed out, except in the margins, where it reads: “JC”, “Denis” and “Susan”. “
Notes do not indicate full names but “JC” could refer to then FBI Director James Comey, “Susan” could refer to National Security Advisor Susan Rice and “Denis” could refer to Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough .
The declassification comes after Ratcliffe shared newly declassified information with the Senate Judiciary Committee last week which revealed that in September 2016, US intelligence officials filed an investigative referral on Hillary Clinton allegedly approving “a plan. concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers obstructing elections in the US ”to distract the public from his email scandal.
The postponement was sent to Comey and then Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok.
“The following information is provided for the sole use of your office for basic investigative action or for guidance purposes, as appropriate,” the CIA memo to Comey and Strzok states.
“This memorandum contains sensitive information that could reveal the source. It should be handled with particular attention to compartmentalization and the need to know. To avoid possible source compromise, any investigative action taken in response to the information below should be coordinated in advance with the Chief Counterintelligence Mission Center, Legal, “reads the memo, which was sent to Comey and Strzok.” Cannot be used in any legal process, including FISA applications, without prior approval … “
“By verbal request from the FBI, the CIA provides the following examples of information that the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE fusion cell has collected to date,” the memo continues. ” [REDACTED] discussing US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan involving US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers obstructing US elections as a means of distracting the public from its use of a private email server. “
The memo was heavily obscured.
COMEY SAYS NEW INFORMATION HILLARY CLINTON MADE RUSSIA DISPUTE RING TO VILIFY TRUMP “NOT A BELL RINGS”
Ratcliffe informed the commission last week that the Obama administration obtained Russian intelligence in July 2016 on charges against Clinton, but warned that the intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the text on which Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication. “
According to Ratcliffe’s letter, intelligence included Hillary Clinton’s “alleged approval, on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to defame Donald Trump by sparking a scandal claiming intelligence interference. of Russian security “.
Nick Merrill, Clinton’s spokesman, called the allegations “baseless”.
But Ratcliffe, in a statement released after the information was made public, rejected the idea that he was promoting “Russian misinformation.”
“To be clear, this is not Russian misinformation and it has not been rated as such by the intelligence community,” Ratcliffe said in a statement to Fox News. “I will inform Congress of the sensitive sources and the methods by which it was obtained. In the coming days.”
A source familiar with the documents told Fox News Tuesday that the allegation “was not disinformation.”
“This is not Russian misinformation. Even Brennan knew it, otherwise he would not have informed the president of the United States,” the source said. “There is a high threshold for informing the president of the United States orally and he clearly felt that he has reached that threshold.”
Another source familiar with the documents told Fox News that “this information was sought from hundreds of requests from Congress for legitimate control purposes and was denied out of political spite and a belief that it would never be discovered. “.
The source added that Brennan’s notes are significant because they are “their own words, written and stored in real time.”
Meanwhile, at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Comey was asked if he had received an investigative referral on Clinton since 2016, but said he “didn’t ring any bells.”
“Don’t you remember receiving investigative guidance from the intelligence community? On September 7, 2016, US intelligence officials filed an investigative referral to James Comey and Strzok regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan. [about] Trump … as a means of distraction? “Graham asked Comey.
“This doesn’t sound to me at all,” Comey said.
“It’s pretty amazing that you don’t ring a bell,” Graham retorted. “Get this investigation from the intelligence community to look into Clinton’s campaign trying to create a distraction by accusing Trump of being a Russian agent or a Russian stooge.”
Graham questioned “how far-fetched”, citing the fact that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through the Perkins Coie law firm, hired Fusion GPS and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to write and compile information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.
The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through the Perkins Coie law firm, hired Fusion GPS and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to write and gather information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.
The dossier contains claims about alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia that served as the basis for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) guarantees obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASED ON REQUESTS HILLARY CLINTON TOLD RUSSIA DISPUTE TO VILIFY TRUMP, DISTRACT EMAILS
Comey argued that the postponement doesn’t “sound familiar”.
Meanwhile, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., A member of the ranking of the House Secret Service Committee, has called the potentially incoming information and documents “smoking guns.”
“The underlying documents that we have now seen, I have only seen a few – they are smoking guns,” Nunes told “Sunday Morning Futures” this week. “That information absolutely must be made available to the American public.”
Nunes added that there is “even more underlying evidence to support” the information released by Ratcliffe and called the amount of time it would take for the president’s allies to obtain the declassified and publicized information “jaw-dropping”.
“It was a very difficult task for us to achieve because there are corrupt officials,” Nunes said.
Attorney General Bill Barr last year appointed Connecticut Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russia shortly after Special Adviser Robert Mueller completed his years-long investigation to determine whether campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
It is unclear whether this information will be considered part of the Durham investigation.