OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 11:30 AM – Friday, April 21, 2023
Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Deputy Director Michael Morrell testified that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had been serving as a Biden-campaign advisor at the time, had “played a role in the inception” of the statement that claimed the Hunter Biden laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
In private testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, Morrell revealed that Blinken was the one behind the public statement that was signed by current and past intelligence officials in October 2020 which implied that the laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was disinformation.
According to Morrell, Blinken, who was the senior campaign official at the time, had reached out to him “on or before” October 17th, three days after the New York Post had published an email from the laptop of Hunter Biden.
The email in question had suggested that Hunter introduced his Ukrainian business partner to his father, who was serving as Vice President at the time of the introduction.
Morell, who was seen as a potential CIA director under Joe Biden, said he push the letter forward in order to “help Vice President Biden, because I wanted him to win the election.” Morrell admitted that his phone call with Blinken is what propelled him to writing the exonerating letter.
The former CIA official testified that the Biden campaign had “helped to strategize about the public release of the statement” and that they were two different intentions for the release of the letter.
“There were two intents. 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,” Morell testified.
When asked why he wanted to help Biden, Morell said because he “wanted him to win the election.”
In October 2020, just weeks before the presidential election, dozens of former national security officials had signed on to the letter which claimed that Hunter’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation” which helped suppress the story in the public eye.
Those who signed on to the letter included former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former CIA Director, who was serving as Defense Secretary at the time, Leon Panetta.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio.) wrote a letter directed to Blinken informing him that the panels are “conducting oversight of federal law-enforcement and intelligence matter within our 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,” the letter said. “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.”
The lawmakers said that the testimony given by Morell made it clear that 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. Although the statement’s signatories have an unquestioned right to free speech and free association—which we do not dispute—their reference to their national security credentials lent weight to the story and suggested access to specialized information unavailable to other Americans. 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.”
The lawmakers went on to ask Blinken to reveal all the people that were involved in the “inception, drafting, editing, signing, publishing or promotion” of the letter, as well as producing all the documents that refer to it by May 4th, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
The White House slammed the lawmakers saying that “House Republicans are weaponizing their power to go after their political opponents and re-litigate the 2020 election.”
“Instead of working with President Biden on the issues that matter most to the American people like lowering costs or tackling gun violence, House Republicans are weaponizing their power to go after their political opponents and re-litigate the 2020 election with misleading claims,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said. “This is all happening as they move ahead on a dangerous plan to push America into default and an economic crisis. The American people see these House GOP attacks for what they are: political stunts intended to hurt President Biden, and House Republicans would be wise to instead focus on doing their job, raising the debt ceiling to avoid an economic catastrophe, and working together with the President to make actual progress on important issues.”
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