The House Judiciary Committee has now released its “Interim Staff Report” on its investigation into the collusion by 51 former national security and intelligence officials with the Biden presidential campaign to discredit the New York Post story on the Hunter Biden laptop and emails. This 64-page House Report is meticulously documented with 163 evidentiary citations to interviews, emails, and documents. It reveals a sordid story of an apparent CIA political disinformation narrative and election interference that is yet another instance of Biden and the Democrats relentless assault on the Constitution, the rule of law, and our democracy. Here is what we know from the Interim Report.
These 51 former officials exploited their national security credentials and titles, insinuated access to secret information, and coordinated with the press to mislead the voters by falsely discrediting the New York Post’s shocking revelations of Vice President Biden’s direct connection to his son Hunter’s questionable, if not corrupt, international business dealings through their infamous “Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails.”
The 51 claimed with no evidence whatsoever that the New York Post’s story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” They fed that narrative to the press leading to Politico’s headline “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”
Their goal was to provide Biden “a talking point” in his debate against President Trump and negate the impact of the New York Post story. And, it worked.
Multiple polls indicate that this disinformation campaign achieved the intended result of ensuring Biden’s election. Indeed, former Attorney General William Barr’s assessment is that “intelligence officials suggesting that it was Russian disinformation in order to essentially keep a cork in it until after the election, … given how close the election was, … probably affected the outcome” of the 2020 election.
The genesis of the Public Statement was Biden campaign advisor Antony Blinken’s outreach to former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell. Morell, possibly hoping for z political appointment, sprang into action. Within 48 hours, the Public Statement was drafted with 51 signers. Morell boasted that the “[c]ampaign will be thrilled.”
Ultimately this effort turned into an apparent CIA political operation with 43 of the 51 signers being former CIA officials, including three former CIA Directors. The Public Statement was reviewed by the CIA’s Prepublication Classification Review Board (PCRB) on an expedited basis with the PCRB approving the release of the Statement within hours of receiving it from Morell so it could be shopped to the press before the presidential debate. Further, evidence indicates at least one CIA employee assisted in soliciting signatures for the Statement. Notably, in the spirit of a Watergate-style cover up, neither Morell nor the CIA has produced the emails or other documents related to the PCRB approval and other actions by CIA employees.
Following the presidential debate, the 51 were exceedingly pleased with themselves. They celebrated Biden’s reference to the statement as “really cool.” The Biden campaign was likewise ecstatic. Biden’s campaign chairman, Steve Ricchetti, called Morell to thank him personally for the Public Statement.
Notwithstanding their self-satisfaction, the Russian disinformation narrative was false and the signers knew it was false. There was not a shred of evidence of any Russian involvement. In fact, the then Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe stated unequivocally at the time that “Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.” Nevertheless, Morell and the cabal of former CIA officials were not deterred as they proceeded to push the false Russian narrative. That false narrative became the pretext for social media and the press to suppress the true facts related to Hunter’s laptop until long after Biden’s election.
As former Attorney General Barr stated in an interview on Fox News, “I was very disturbed during the debate when candidate Biden lied to the American people about the laptop. He was squarely confronted with the laptop, and he suggested that it was Russian disinformation and pointed to the letter written by intelligence people that was baseless, which he knew was a lie. And I was shocked by that.” That lie certainly was not “really cool.” It was reprehensible.
In an email to the signers, Morell wrote:
I think this is the most important election since 1860 and 1864 when the very existence of the country was on the ballot. Now, it is our democracy and the Constitution that are on the ballot. We all, of course, took an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution. I think all of you did that yesterday by signing this Letter.
What arrogance! Who are the 51 to decide the outcome of a presidential election?
The 51 did not “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution. To the contrary, they betrayed our nation and our democratic electoral process. The voters deserve the truth – not orchestrated lies and social media censorship.
In his interview with the House Judiciary Committee, Morell admitted that it is “inappropriate” for a CIA staff officer to be involved in the political process, but that is exactly what happened in 2020. That collusion with the Biden campaign is a huge leap down the path of sham elections like those in Venezuela, Russia, China, and other authoritarian Communist regimes.
Our freedom and democracy are at stake. It is, therefore, imperative that the House Judiciary Committee complete its investigation, including using its subpoena power to compel testimony from those who have refused to cooperate and to obtain relevant documents from the CIA. Then Congress must act swiftly to enact the necessary reforms to ensure the 2024 election will not be similarly subverted.
Michael Clancy is a lawyer, member of The Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, and former congressional candidate. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeClancyVA.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.