A House Republican report claims that the CIA solicited signatures for the letter from 51 intelligence officials discrediting Hunter Brandon’s laptop as disinformation.
In addition, the report, released by the House Oversight Committee, also alleges that a CIA employee may have helped in soliciting signatures and accuses former Deputy CIA director and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell and the Brandon campaign of conspiring to get the letter approved, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The 51 intel officials signed a letter in 2020 falsely insinuating that Hunter Brandon’s laptop had “classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The revelation comes as probes into Hunter’s business deals continue and on the eve of an update from Republicans on the Oversight Committee about the Brandon family’s alleged shady business practices.
One of the signers of the letter, former CIA analyst David Cariens, “disclosed to the Committees that a CIA employee affiliated with the agency’s Prepublication Classification Review Board (PCRB) informed him of the existence of the statement and asked if he would sign it,” which he did, the House investigative report notes.
“The Committees have requested additional material from the CIA, which has ignored the request to date,” the 39-page report says.
The investigative report states that on October 19, 2020, Morell reportedly sent the agency the final version of the letter to the Prepublication Classification Review for review and described it as a “rush job” in order for it to be approved.
The Daily Mail adds: “The new report, which will be published Wednesday in conjunction with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, also reveals that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper provided editorial advice to ‘strengthen the verbiage.’”
On October 18, emails contained within the report show Clapper emailing Morrell that he intended to sign onto the letter.
Clapper, a career intel bureaucrat who has been accused of lying under oath to Congress (and, of course, got away with it), offered an editorial fix: “I have one editorial suggestion for the letter: I think it would strengthen the verbiage if you say this has all the classic earmarks of a Soviet/Russian information operation rather than the ‘feel’ of a Russian operation.”
Morrell wrote back that he accepted Clapper’s suggestion, adding: “It was a good one.”
Morrell testified before the House Judiciary Committee that his interest in coordinating the letter was triggered by an Oct. 17 call with Brandon’s current Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. However, Blinken denied being behind the letter and insisted last week that he does not “do politics.”
“One of the great benefits of this job is that I don’t do politics, don’t engage in it,” he claimed, although he wasn’t secretary of state when the letter was drafted and circulated, he was advising Brandon’s presidential campaign. “But with regard to that letter…it wasn’t my idea, I didn’t ask for it, didn’t solicit it.”
When asked by Fox News if he accepted the legitimacy of the laptop, as most major news organizations have verified it, Blinken declined to comment, stating that he does not want to discuss politics.
“I’m not engaging in politics. I’ve got a lot on my agenda. Some things that we just talked about, trying to help the Russian aggression against engaging with our allies, partners around the world and dealing with some of the challenges posed by China. We have a situation now in Sudan, this has fully occupied my time,” he told Fox News, per RepublicWorld.com.
Brandon and his campaign cited the letter and the fact that it was signed by so many intel officials to dismiss his son’s laptop as a “Russian disinformation campaign.”