In October of 2020, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) helped the Biden campaign disseminate a false narrative in the media to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, according to a new Joint Staff Report of the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The New York Post on October 14, 2020, published the first installment of a bombshell series of reports on Hunter Biden’s sordid and incriminating “Laptop From Hell.”
The laptop contains damning evidence of the Biden family’s corrupt and potentially illegal influence-peddling operations, as well as Hunter’s drug and sex addictions, along with potentially criminal sex-trafficking violations. The contents can be viewed here.
According to the 60-plus page joint staff report, a CIA board approved the now-discredited statement shooting down the NY Post story as “Russian disinformation,” and a CIA employee appears to have assisted in obtaining signatories for the letter.
As American Greatness previously reported, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Acting Director Michael Morell admitted in a transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee on March 28 that he was contacted by then-Biden campaign advisor—now Secretary of State—Antony Blinken on Oct. 17 to discuss the Post’s reporting. Morell allegedly told Blinken that he was not familiar with the story, so Blinken later emailed Morell a USA Today article alleging the FBI was investigating whether it was Russian disinformation. That “evidence,” Morell testified, prompted him —just weeks before the 2020 election— to began the process of drafting the infamous statement suggesting the bourgeoning scandal was Russian disinformation.
When questioned if the USA Today article was “the full sum” of the research that led him to draft the letter, Morell replied, “yes.”
Although Morell denied that the Biden campaign specifically asked that he prepare a statement, former CIA agent Marc Polymeropoulos, who helped to prepare the initial draft of the statement, told the Committees that Morell “did mention to me that someone in the kind of Biden world had asked about doing this.” When asked to elaborate, Polymeropoulos testified: “Morell said that to me, that someone from kind of the Biden world had asked for this. And he did not tell me who it was or any of the other kind of details of it.”
Polymeropoulos testified that he didn’t know about Morell’s call with Blinken until the Committees told him about it.
According to the 60-plus page joint staff report, on October 18, 2020, Morell, Polymeropoulos, and former CIA officer Kristin Wood solicited other former intelligence officials and employees to sign the statement to give Biden “a talking point to use in” the final presidential debate. Specifically, Morell wrote, “because we think Trump will attack Biden on the issue at this week’s debate and we want to give the VP a talking point to use in response … [w]e would be honored if each of you would be willing to join us in signing the letter.”
The Committees have evidence that one current employee affiliated with the CIA “may have assisted in obtaining signatories for the statement,” as well.
“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,” the House report states. “The Committees have requested additional material from the CIA, which has ignored the request to date.”
The Prepublication Classification Review Board (PCRB) consists of CIA officers—“not contractors”—who review statements, letters, and books published by former intelligence personnel to make sure the material doesn’t contain any classified information that would need to be removed or redacted prior to publication.
“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,” Cariens wrote. “The person asked me if I would be willing to sign.”
Cariens said that he and his wife, a former CIA officer, agreed to sign because he “felt there was enough circumstantial evidence to raise suspicion that Russian intelligence was involved.”
The joint staff report states that Cariens’ revelation “is potentially shocking.”
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. Indeed, even Morell testified that such an action by a CIA employee would be “inappropriate.” Morell explained: I did not coordinate with the CIA. I would have—had I known [about Carien’s allegation], I would have reacted very negatively to this. This might—you know, had I known at the time this might have been in the letter, then I certainly would have reported this to then the Director of the Agency.
Polymeropoulos also testified that such an action from the CIA would be “incredibly unprofessional.”
On October 19, 2020, according to the House report, “Morell sent the finalized public statement to the CIA’s PCRB for approval, telling the board that it was “a rush job, as it need to get out as soon as possible.”
Morell wanted the public statement released before the October 22, 2020, presidential debate. Specifically, he told House investigators: “We were trying to get it out before the debate, yes.”
He was able to quickly secure the PCRB’s approval of the misleading public statement. In a text message, Polymeropoulos congratulated Morell, telling him, “U have some juice!”
In the end, Morell and company were able to convince 50 intel experts to sign onto the bogus letter.
On October 19, before the release of the public statement, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, the top intelligence official in the United States and privy to all classified information—stated on Fox Business that “Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”
Contrary to the signers’ assessment, he further stated: “Let me be clear: The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that.” Director Ratcliffe issued this statement after Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) claimed on CNN that “the origins of this whole smear [Hunter Biden’s laptop] are from the Kremlin and the president [Trump] is only too happy to have Kremlin help in trying to amplify it” Schiff added: “That’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about the vice president and his son.”
When asked if Ratcliffe’s assessment influenced his decision to follow through with the letter, Morell said no, “because, as a former intelligence officer with much more experience than Mr. Ratcliffe, I don’t know how he could have came to that conclusion. How could he know . . . it wasn’t part of Russian disinformation?”
Morell told House investigators that knowing what we know now, he would “have to write it differently because we now know the emails are authentic, right? So you couldn’t say anymore we don’t know whether it’s information or disinformation.” Morell insisted however that he still “has suspicions about a Russian role in these emails getting to The New York Post.”
John Paul Mac Isaac, the Delaware computer repairman who reported the abandoned laptop to the FBI, filed a suit against Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s campaign committee on March 1, 2023, claiming the pair sought to falsely cast the contents of Hunter’s laptop as “Russian disinformation.” A couple of weeks later, Hunter Biden filed a countersuit accusing Isaac of trying to invade his privacy and wrongfully sharing his personal data for political purposes. Biden admitted in the filing that he was “without knowledge sufficient to admit or deny the allegations” in the public statement.
Morell allegedly tasked Nick Shapiro, his former Deputy Chief of Staff and a former Senior Advisor at the CIA, with assigning the statement to specific reporters in major publications.
Specifically, Morell apprised Shapiro that, “[b]etween us, the campaign would like” a specific reporter with the Washington Post to run the statement first. Shapiro crafted an email for three separate media outlets and sent the content of the email to the Biden campaign’s Director of Rapid Response, Andrew Bates, stating “This is what I gave them.” After peddling the statement to the Washington Post and the Associated Press with apparently no result, Shapiro found a willing partner in Politico.
Politico published a story written by notorious Russia Collusion hoaxer Natasha Bertrand (also known as “Fusion Natasha”) under the headline: “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”
As planned, Biden did use the public letter to rebut President Trump when he brought up the laptop during the debate. Biden campaign chairman Steve Ricchetti called Morell later to thank him for the useful talking point.
As the Federalist noted, numerous polls show that “the coordinated efforts between U.S. intelligence agencies and social media tech companies, including Twitter and Facebook,” substantially helped Biden by censoring a story that exposed his family’s corruption.
A 2022 poll by TIPP Insights found that 47 percent of those polled, including 45 percent of independents, said knowing the laptop contents were real and not Russian disinformation likely would have changed their votes in the 2020 election.
The Biden administration has declined to cooperate with the Committees’ oversight work, and have refused to respond to document requests, the joint staff report states.
On March 21, 2023, the Committees wrote to the CIA, requesting documents in the CIA’s possession relating to the statement and interactions between the CIA and the signatories of the statement. The Committees requested that the CIA furnish these documents by April 4, 2023. The CIA has so far failed to comply to this oversight request.
On April 20, 2023, the Committees wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information in his possession about his role in the origins of the statement. On May 4, 2023, via counsel, Secretary Blinken responded. Although he denied asking Morell to write the statement, Secretary Blinken did not dispute that his communication was the impetus for the statement. Secretary Blinken provided none of the documents that Committee requested.
The Committees vow to continue pursuing additional information about the actions and events described in this report.