Courtesy of Politico:

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The extraordinary disclosure, released to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday, rankled Democrats, who said the move effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“It’s very disturbing to me that, 35 days before an election, the director of national intelligence would release unverified Russian rumint,” or rumor intelligence, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) told reporters.

And several former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s move as incendiary and irresponsible, given the manner in which he was publicly releasing unverified information that originated from a foreign adversary.

The assessment claims that Hillary Clinton, then a Democratic candidate for president, personally approved an effort “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.” But in his letter to Graham, Ratcliffe noted that the U.S. intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee issued five reports on Russia’s sweeping effort to meddle in the 2016 election to boost Trump, ranging across thousands of pages. The panel was made aware of that allegation early on in its investigation, and quickly dismissed it, the sources said.

This is a clear sign of desperation. 

Hillary Clinton did not need to “stir up” anything as the FBI and US intelligence agencies were already aware of troubling ties between Trump and Russia even before he was the official GOP candidate.

(P.S. If anybody wants to learn more about the discussions leading up to the Russia investigation let me recommend the excellent Showtime program  “The Comey Rule.”)

I think this was just another attempt for Trump to try and invalidate his impeachment while also attacking one of his most hated opponents.