WASHINGTON – The issue of Russian collusion and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign consumed America for three years, and after an investigation costing taxpayers millions of dollars, little was found. But now, declassified material is shedding new light on President Obama's knowledge of a reported plan by Hillary Clinton's campaign to vilify Donald Trump and sway the election.
John Ratcliffe, the current Director of National Intelligence, has approved the release of nearly one-thousand documents to the Department of Justice. The Obama administration's oversight of the Trump campaign and foreign interference in now under scrutiny.
The release of documents comes at the direction of President Trump after a bombshell revelation that then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama in 2016 on a reported plan by the Clinton campaign to link Russian interference with the Trump campaign.
Notes from a 2016 White House briefing by Brennan state that Clinton allegedly approved "a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal, claiming interference by the Russian Security Service. Handwritten notes list "POTUS" among those in the meeting.
Brennan is accusing Ratcliffe of "selectively releasing documents."
"John Ratcliffe is anything but an intelligence professional," Brennan said in a statement. "It is appalling his selective declassification of information. It is designed to advance the political interests of Donald Trump and Republicans who are aligned with him."
But former federal prosecutor John O'Connor told CBN News' Global Lane that it proves it was the Clinton campaign – not the Trump team – that worked with Russia to influence the election.
"That's the irony of it that we've spent three or four years talking about – how Trump supposedly colluded with Russia, where it was all a complete hoax," said O'Connor. "It's exactly the opposite is true and it's very profound."
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Critics of the Mueller investigation are pouncing on the revelations as evidence that it all amounts to massive abuse of power and potential criminal activity by the nation's intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
And as the 2020 election nears, many are asking what then-Vice President Joe Biden knew.
"Barack Obama knew about it as early as the summer of 2016," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told Fox News. "I think it's safe to say Joe Biden knew about it as well."
Paul Sperry, the former DC bureau chief for Investor's Business Daily and a current Hoover Institution media fellow, says it goes deeper and that Biden is actually under investigation.
BREAKING: Joe Biden is the subject of an active federal criminal investigation into his role in the counterintelligence investigation directed @ the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, incl the former vice president's activities in Ukraine.Ukrainian witnesses are cooperating
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) October 7, 2020
DNI Ratcliffe has also declassified a CIA memo that notes the Russians believed Clinton's efforts to stir up a scandal were to distract the public from her use of a public email server.