A former CIA official testified that then-Biden campaign adviser and now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken played a role in the creation of a debunked letter from 51 former intelligence officials that falsely claimed the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation.
On Thursday, Ohio Reps. Jim Jordan and Michael Turner, chairmen of the Judiciary and Intel Committees, respectively, sent a letter to Blinken informing him that their committees are “conducting oversight of federal law-enforcement and intelligence matters within [their] respective jurisdictions.”
“We are examining that public statement signed by 51 former intelligence officials that falsely discredited a New York Post story regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop as supposed Russian disinformation,” they wrote. “As part of our oversight, we have learned that you played a role in the inception of this statement while serving as a Biden campaign advisor, and we therefore request your assistance with our oversight.”
During his recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Michael Morell, a former deputy director of the CIA who signed onto the letter, revealed that “on or around October 17, 2020, [Blinken] reached out to him to discuss the Hunter Biden laptop story,” which had been published in the New York Post on Oct. 14. According to Morell, Blinken’s outreach “set in motion the events that led to the issuance of the public statement” that baselessly asserted the laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
When asked if he had any intent to write the statement prior to Blinken’s call, Morell said he “did not,” confirming the call “absolutely” pushed him to write it. Blinken would later email Morell an article from USA Today that same day “alleging that the FBI was examining whether the Hunter Biden laptop was part of a ‘disinformation campaign.'”
Blinken wasn’t the only Biden campaign official Morell was in contact with regarding the statement, however. Morell also claimed that following the Oct. 22, 2020, presidential debate, Steve Ricchetti, Biden’s campaign chairman, reached out to him to personally thank him “for putting the statement out.”
He further said the Biden campaign was involved in strategically disseminating the statement to the public. According to the Jordan-Turner letter, Morell testified that “he sent an email telling Nick Shapiro, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Director of the CIA John Brennan, that the Biden campaign wanted the statement to go to a particular reporter at the Washington Post first and that he should send the statement to the campaign when he sent the letter to the reporter.”
Brennan, along with former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Leon Panetta, was among the former intel officials who signed the phony statement.
Morell later claimed in his testimony that there were two intents behind releasing the statement, one being for former intel officials to share their alleged “concern[s] with the American people that the Russians were playing on this issue.” The other was to “help Vice President Biden.”
“You wanted to help the vice president, why?” asked Jordan, to which Morell replied, “Because I wanted him to win the election.”
The debunked letter signed by Morell and dozens of other former intel officials wasn’t just used by corporate media to dismiss a major story implicating the Biden family. It was used by Joe Biden in his Oct. 22 debate with then-President Donald Trump to dispell Trump’s criticisms of the Bidens’ shady business dealings.
“Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, [President Trump’s] accusing me of is a Russian plan,” Biden said. “They have said this has all the characteristics — four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani.”
Shortly after the Post’s publication of the laptop story, Big Tech outlets collectively launched a vicious censorship campaign aimed at preventing its circulation. As revealed in the “Twitter Files,” Twitter “took extraordinary steps to suppress the story,” which included “removing links,” “posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe,'” and blocking “its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.”
Meanwhile, during an August interview with podcast host Joe Rogan, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook algorithmically suppressed stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 election after being primed to do so by the FBI. According to Zuckerberg, the FBI warned Facebook about forthcoming “Russian propaganda” just before reports of the laptop dropped.
“This concerted effort to minimize and suppress public dissemination of the serious allegations about the Biden family was a grave disservice to all American citizens’ informed participation in our democracy,” Jordan and Turner wrote.
In concluding their letter to Blinken, the Republican congressmen asked the secretary of state to “produce all documents and communications” and “identify all people with whom [he] communicated” regarding the October 2020 statement decrying the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation by May 4.