Ex-top spy admits Hunter Biden laptop letter designed to influence 2020 election, Blinken involved

Extraordinary admission by career intelligence officer Michael J. Morell provides stunning evidence that the now-infamous letter from 51 security officials in October 2021 was not an organic intelligence community event but rather a political dirty trick.

Published: April 20, 2023 5:24pm

Updated: April 22, 2023 12:55am

A former acting CIA director has admitted to Congress that he helped organize the letter that falsely portrayed Hunter Biden's laptop as Russian disinformation in an effort to influence the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden and that his role was “triggered” by a call from current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to a letter released Thursday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.

The extraordinary admission by career intelligence officer Michael J. Morell provides stunning evidence that the now-infamous letter from 51 security officials in October 2020 was not an organic intelligence community initiative but rather a political dirty trick originating with Blinken and the Biden campaign.

Jordan sent a letter demanding Blinken answer a series of questions about Morell's stunning testimony, as lawmakers weighed the enormity of America's top diplomat being willing to accuse a nuclear-armed superpower of interfering in the 2020 election without evidence. That letter included major snippets of Morell's testimony.

Morell, who retired as deputy CIA director after a long and storied career and served as its acting chief, was on the short list in fall 2020 to be Biden's CIA director when he became involved in the letter. He ultimately did not receive the job.

In a transcribed interview with the House Judiciary government weaponization subcommittee, Morell admitted he got involved with the letter after a conversation with Blinken and later received a call from the Biden campaign thanking him when Joe Biden used the letter and its false implication to blunt criticism of Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings

The transcript of Morell's interview showed he had no intent to write the statement and that Blinken's "call triggered" his actions. 

The same day Blinken reached out to Morell, an article was published in USA Today alleging that the FBI was looking into the laptop as part of a "disinformation campaign." 

"Morell testified that his communication with you was one of a few communications he had with the Biden campaign, explaining that he also received a call from Steve Ricchetti, Chairman of the Biden campaign, following the October 22 debate to thank him for writing the letter," Jordan wrote Blinken. 

You can read the letter here:

Included in Jordan's letter was Morell's recollection of the call.

"After the debate — I think it was after the debate — in fact, I'm pretty sure it was after the debate — I got a phone call from Jeremy Bash, who I work with at Beacon and who is active politically," Morell told the Committee. "And Jeremy said: Do you have a minute to talk to Steve Ricchetti? I said: Of course. He was the head of the Biden campaign at the time. And Jeremy got him on the line, and Steve thanked me for putting the statement out. And that was the extent of the conversation." 

He also testified that the Biden campaign team coordinated to release the statement on the laptop to a specific reporter at the Washington Post and admitted that he got involved to help give Biden a leg up on Trump during the debates. 

"There were two intents," he said. "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." When asked why he wanted to help Biden, he replied, "because I wanted him to win the election."

Morell, who was working as a podcaster and contributor at CBS News, was said to have been on the short list for CIA director and had his desire for a promotion leveraged against him in return for his cooperation. 

A spokesman for CBS News did not immediately return an email from Just The News earlier this week, seeking comment from Morell or the network.

Jordan wrote that based on this testimony, "it is apparent 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. 

"We believe that you possess material that would advance our oversight and inform potential legislative reforms. Accordingly, we ask that you please provide the following information and records in your personal possession:

  1. Identify all people with whom you communicated about the inception, drafting, editing, signing, publishing, or promotion of the 'Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails' dated October 19, 2020, during the period October 14, 2020, to November 24, 2020; and

  2. Produce all documents and communications referring or relating to the 'Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails' dated October 19, 2020, sent or received between October 14, 2020, and November 24, 2020." 

The Committee asked Blinken to produce these items "no later" than May 4, 2023 and also requested they be from his "personal" materials, as he was not yet serving as Secretary of State when these events were unfolding. 

"Because these events occurred prior to your nomination and confirmation as Secretary of State, we seek your cooperation with our requests in your personal, and not your official capacity," the letter concluded. 

This revelation comes just four days after Jordan told Just the News he expects to release a report from the House panel on weaponization of government later this month, laying out detailed evidence and the key players behind the letter.

"It was all done with politics, and it looks like there was some some real connections with the Biden campaign," Jordan said during an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast, declining to be more specific because there are more witness interviews being conducted. 

It also comes just three days after House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show that the laptop coverup was what won Joe Biden the presidency. 

"Would Joe Biden be the president United States if there hadn't been the laptop cover-up?" he asked. "I doubt it. Would inflation be where it is if there hadn't been laptop cover-up? I doubt it. You know, we're paying a price right now for the double standard in journalism."

Just The News reached out to CBS and Morell again, to inquire if he still works at the network, but got no response.

Democrats on Friday, however, rejected the Republican portrayal of Morell’s interview.

“Jim Jordan has released cherry-picked excerpts of a transcribed interview,” a Democratic House Judiciary committee spokesman said in a statement. “To be clear, no part of that interview demonstrates that Tony Blinken or any other Biden campaign official asked Mike Morell to write a letter about Hunter Biden’s laptop.”

The Democrats released a different part of the transcript in which Morell said he did not recall Blinken specifically asking him to write the letter. “My memory is that he did not, right. My memory is that he asked what I thought.”

The last posting of his weekly podcast appears to have been dated March 29th, and there has not been a new episode since. 

The State Department issued a brief response when asked about the letter, attributed to an agency spokesperson. 

"As a general matter, we do not comment on Congressional correspondence or ongoing investigations," the reply read. 

You can follow John and Nick on Twitter @jsolomonreports and @NGivasDC

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