FEC began probing 2020 Hunter Biden laptop suppression weeks before ex-spy's stunning admission
Direct evidence from ex-CIA chief Mike Morell about Biden campaign's role could significantly impact outcome of federal inquiry, lawyer says.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
- disclosed that Morell admitted in testimony that he became involved in organizing the letter
- letter included a claim
- said Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)
The Federal Election Commission began investigating whether Joe Biden's 2020 campaign improperly colluded with Big Tech and intelligence experts to suppress accurate stories about Hunter Biden's laptop weeks before ex-spy Michael Morell's bombshell revelation that he worked with the campaign to organize a letter that falsely portrayed the laptop as a Russian intelligence dirty trick.
The FEC's investigation was confirmed in a March 29 letter to Timothy Parlatore, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump who filed a complaint alleging the letter and Twitter's and Facebook's suppression of the laptop story in October 2020 amounted to an illegal "in-kind contribution" to Biden's campaign.
"You will be notified as soon as the Federal Election Commission (FEC) takes final action on your complaint," the federal election law regulator wrote Parlatore in the letter, which assigned his complaint an official Matter Under Review case number to open an investigation.
"Should you receive any additional information in this matter, please forward it to the Office of the General Counsel," the agency added.
You can read that letter here:
Parlatore filed a complaint earlier in March on behalf of Trump alleging the letter signed by 51 former government intelligence officials and suppression efforts by the Biden campaign and large social media firms amounted to a coordinated intrusion into the 2020 election that should have been regulated by federal campaign laws.
"Based on the speed with which the Individual Respondents were enlisted and the identical nature of claims espoused by the Individual Respondents and the Biden for President committee, there is reason to believe that this action was taken in coordination with the campaign's suppression efforts and constituted an in-kind contribution in violation of 52 U.S.C. § 30118(a) and 11 C.F.R § 114.2(6)," Parlatore wrote.
In an interview with Just the News, Parlatore said that when he filed the complaint he had strong circumstantial evidence the Biden campaign coordinated the letter but that Morell's testimony released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan last week directly confirmed his suspicions and could have a significant impact on the FEC probe.
"We always believed that a proper investigation — you know, giving us access to subpoena power and the ability to interview these people under oath — would reveal that, because the circumstantial evidence certainly suggested a connection to the campaign," he told the John Solomon Reports podcast.
"And I got to hand it to Jim Jordan, he just he went there a whole lot faster, more effectively than I could, because he has that subpoena power at his disposal now," he added.
On Thursday, Jordan and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner disclosed that Morell admitted in testimony that he became involved in organizing the letter in October 2020 at the instigation of then-Biden campaign adviser and now Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Morell admitted he was trying to influence the election in favor of Biden, according to a letter the two House chairmen sent Blinken demanding answers on Thursday.
While Morell said Blinken didn't directly ask him to write the letter, his contact with the secretary of state "triggered" the effort to write the memo, the campaign "helped to strategize about the public release of the statement" and that the campaign later thanked Morell for getting the letter out so that Joe Biden could use it as a defense during one of the last 2020 presidential debates.
You can read that letter here:
Jordan disclosed the Biden campaign also played a significant role in rolling out the letter to the news media, including suggesting it start with a leak to The Washington Post.
The letter signed by several former CIA directors and other top intelligence officials spent most of its time arguing the emergence of Hunter Biden's laptop in fall 2020 had the "classic earmarks of a Russian information operation," though they admitted "we do not have evidence of Russian involvement."
You can read the intelligence experts' letter here:
But the letter included a claim that the laptop was part of a "smoke bomb of disinformation" by linking to a USA Today article alleging the FBI was probing such a possibility. It was that claim that the Biden campaign used to silence and suppress the laptop for weeks ahead of the election.
Correspondence obtained by Jordan's committee shows Blinken specifically sent that USA Today article to Morell on Oct 17, 2020 before the letter was published. Blinken even cc'd the director of rapid response for the Biden campaign in transmitting the USA Today article to Morell, Jordan's letter to Blinken revealed.
"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," Jordan wrote Blinken.
Parlatore explained in layman's terms why a letter from former CIA bosses and other intelligence pros had such economic value that it should be counted as a contribution when it was coordinated with the Biden campaign.
"The basis of the FEC complaint is that by providing this false intelligence analysis report — really that is what it is — that it's a contribution in kind," Parlatore explained "That it's something that if I wanted to hire a whole bunch of former intel officials, and particularly a whole bunch of former CIA directors, to perform an intelligence analysis, and give me a report on something like that, that it will cost me millions of dollars to get that kind of a product.
"And yet here, they did it. They didn't get paid, as I understand it. Instead, they did it as a contribution in kind."
Several legal and campaign experts interviewed by Just the News said they believed Morell's testimony was transformative and could lead the FEC and other investigative bodies to take action against the Biden campaign.
"Whether you agree with Trump or whether you agree with Biden, whoever you want to see elected, the one thing that is clear is that the CIA and former intelligence officials should not be engaged in partisan efforts to elect their candidate of choice by using their credibility in an improper way, to vouch for or vouch against people," Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a Biden supporter, told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show.
"So I think this is just the beginning of what has to be a much deeper inquiry into all of these considerations," Dershowitz said, adding the episode was the latest in a long line of episodes of liberal attacks "where the ends justify the means as long as the end is get Trump."
A member of the House Intelligence Committee that is investigating the coordination of the letter with the Biden campaign told "Just the News, No Noise" there is growing evidence the letter and other suppression tactics over Hunter Biden's laptop likely swayed the 2020 election.
"Was there a cover-up with the laptop? Absolutely," said Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.). "I mean, would Joe Biden be the president of United States if there hadn't been the laptop cover-up? I doubt it. Would inflation be where it is if there hadn't been the laptop cover-up? I doubt it."
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