U.S. intel referred Clinton campaign to FBI, alleging it concocted Russia collusion story

U.S. intelligence believed Clinton plot to "stir up a scandal" was a "means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server."

Updated: September 30, 2020 - 3:04pm

U.S. intelligence developed evidence from Russia in summer 2016 that Hillary Clinton had personally approved a plan to concoct the Russia collusion narrative in an effort to harm Donald Trump and distract from her email scandal, according to an explosive document made public Tuesday by the Director of National Intelligence.

U.S. officials became so concerned by the Clinton campaign's conduct that they referred the matter to the FBI for investigation, well before the election and before the bureau pursued the concocted story as grounds for getting FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign and adviser Carter Page, DNI John Ratcliffe's letter shows.

"In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee," Ratcliffe wrote Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham. "The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication."

You can read the letter here. 

Ratcliffe told the senator that former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan created handwritten notes showing he "subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the 'alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.'"

By Labor Day, U.S. intelligence had escalated the concerns to the FBI.

"On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding 'U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server,'" Ratcliffe wrote.

The release of the highly classified evidence comes one day before Comey was set to testify to Graham's committee, adding an extraordinary twist showing the FBI and CIA may have known all along the Russia collusion allegations were a political dirty trick.

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