A handful of the 51 signatories of the debunked letter which falsely called Hunter Biden’s laptop “Russian disinformation” are now calling on Congress to expand the scope of domestic surveillance in the United States.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the letter to House lawmakers on Tuesday was signed by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Deputy Director for the National Security Agency (NSA) Richard Ledgett, former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell, former CIA Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash, and former NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell. All five men had previously signed the controversial letter in 2020 claiming, without evidence, that information found on the recently-unearthed laptop of Hunter Biden was all “Russian propaganda” meant to influence the 2020 election.
In their new letter, the former intelligence community officials voiced their opposition to a bill that would reduce the ability of intelligence agencies to spy on Americans without a warrant. At the same time, they offered up praise for a bill that would allow surveillance of any location where internet access is provided.
“We cannot hamstring the U.S. Intelligence Community either by failing to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or by limiting it in ways that would make it difficult for the government to protect Americans,” the letter reads in part. “To be clear, Section 702 saves American lives and helps keep Americans safe from international terrorist attacks, foreign cyberattacks, overseas fentanyl suppliers, and other threats to our national security. There’s no substitute for it.”
In recent weeks, the House Judiciary Committee has been working on possible reforms to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the controversial provision which ultimately allowed the intelligence agencies to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, under the false pretenses that he was “colluding” with Russia.
“Reasonable minds might disagree on the details of the various reforms that might be needed, even as included in the [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] bill,” they add. “But it presents a rigorous approach to the challenges and attempts in a responsible way to balance privacy protections and our nation’s safety.”
Despite the claims in their 2020 letter, numerous mainstream media outlets eventually verified the authenticity of Hunter’s laptop and all of the information contained on it, which included details about Hunter’s numerous foreign business deals, his efforts to sell access to his father while he was Vice President, as well as his frequent drug use and solicitation of prostitutes, among other scandalous revelations.
It has since been revealed that the letter was orchestrated by the Biden campaign, under the direction of then-campaign advisor Antony Blinken, who now serves as Biden’s Secretary of State.