House GOP Report: CIA ‘May Have Assisted in Obtaining Signatories’ for Letter Discrediting Hunter Biden Laptop

According to the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “may have assisted in obtaining signatories” for the letter signed to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation before the 2020 presidential election. Fifty-one former national security officials signed the letter. 

The House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and the House Intelligence Committee are expected to release a report this week titled “The Hunter Biden Statement: How Senior Intelligence Community Officials and the Biden Campaign Worked to Mislead American Voters.”

The committees have been reviewing how former intelligence officials joined together to “insert themselves into the thick of the presidential campaign.”

The report states the letter “was a political operation to help elect” President Joe Biden, father of Hunter Biden. It claims the Biden campaign “took active measures to discredit the allegations about Hunter Biden by exploiting the national security credentials of former intelligence officials.”

The over 60-page report includes communications and testimony between and from former intelligence officials — including Michael Morell, former CIA Deputy Director, who worked to get support from ex-intelligence officials and write the statement.

The former officials who signed the letter included former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, and former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, among others. 

Three days after the letter was made public, Joe Biden, then-presidential candidate, used it as a talking point in the final presidential debate in 2020 to refute criticisms of then-President Donald Trump.

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of, is a Russian plan,” said Biden during the debate. 

However, the committees have said they have “evidence that an employee affiliated with the CIA may have assisted in obtaining signatories for the statement.”

Former CIA analyst: Was asked to sign the statement to help elect Biden

“One signer of the statement, 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,” states the report. 

Cariens told the committees that in 2020, he had been working with the PCRB to review his memoir. He also said that during a call with a CIA employee about his memoir, the employee “asked” him to sign onto the letter. 

“When the person in charge of reviewing the book called to say it was approved with no changes, I was told about the draft letter. The person asked me if I would be willing to sign,” said Cariens. “After hearing the letter’s contents and the qualifiers in it, such as, ‘We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russia involvement,’…I agree to sign.”

The committees described Cariens’ testimony as “potentially shocking.”

According to the report, “As he recounted, a CIA employee informed him about the statement, the CIA employee read the text of the statement to him, and the CIA employee asked Cariens if he would like to join.”

Morell testified later before the committees and explained that “such an action by a CIA employee would be inappropriate.”

Despite the claim by Cariens, Morell vowed he “did not coordinate with the CIA,” saying that if he had “known” about Cariens’ allegation, he “would have reacted very negatively to this.”

In the meantime, the report stated that Morell submitted a draft of the letter to the PCRB, telling the committee it was “approved…as written.”

The PCRB was created to review materials produced by CIA personnel, both current and former, to determine if they contain classified information before the information is released publicly.

Morell sent an email to the board on October 19, 2020. It is now part of the report. Along with it, he added, “This is a rush job as it needs to get out as soon as possible.”

Morell told the committees that “two intents” were behind pushing the letter. “One intent was to share our concern with the American people that the Russians were playing on this issue, and two, it was to help Vice President Biden.”

When questioned about why he wanted to help Biden, Morell testified, “Because I wanted him to win the election.”

Morell also testified that Antony Blinken, who then served as Biden’s campaign foreign policy adviser and now serves as secretary of state, was the “impetus” behind the letter. Blinken continues to deny any involvement. 

Last month, the committees said it is “apparent” the Biden campaign “played an active role in the origins of the public statement, which had the effect of helping to suppress the Hunter Biden story and preventing American citizens from making a fully informed decision during the 2020 presidential election.”