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Hunter Biden laptop 'cover-up' by ex-officials deserves consequences, say House intel members

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) said he doubts that Joe Biden would have become president if the Hunter Biden laptop story hadn't been suppressed in the waning days of the 2020 election.

Published: April 17, 2023 11:02pm

Current and former members of the House Intelligence Committee say the 51 security experts who signed a letter seeking to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation engaged in a "cover-up" that misled the American people and should face consequences, including a ban on serving in government or loss of their security clearances.

In October 2020, the former intelligence officers signed a letter citing their professional experience for their deep suspicion that the emails on the laptop belonging to President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, were the handiwork of Russian intelligence, an effort by the U.S. adversary "to influence how Americans vote."

The laptop has since been proven authentic, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has said it did not involve a foreign disinformation campaign.

Former President Donald Trump, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and many others have denounced the letter released two weeks before Election Day as interference in the 2020 election that kept voters from understanding influence peddling allegations surrounding the Biden family.

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show on Monday he wasn't surprised the former intelligence officials risked their reputations by signing a letter spinning the revelations about materials found on Hunter Biden's laptop as Russian disinformation.

"Not with everything that I saw done to make Joe Biden the president of the United States," he said. "I mean, the whole Russia hoax, everything they did to Donald Trump when he was president of the United States, the double standard ... is what's destroying our political system in this country."

Mentioning Joe Biden's increase in wealth and son Hunter's alleged peddling of access to his father, Scott urged conservatives to have the patience to allow House GOP investigators to methodically "expose" the Biden family business dealings "in such a manner that even the people who like Joe Biden cannot deny the problem of the business relationships that occurred there." 

Scott emphasized the enormity of the consequences flowing from the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the waning days of the 2020 election.

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

In light of the 51 former intelligence officials and the Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who allegedly leaked hundreds of pages of sensitive documents on a Discord online chat group, Scott said that the House Intelligence Committee "absolutely" needs to reevaluate who gets security clearances.

Devin Nunes, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told "Just the News, No Noise" on Monday that the former intelligence officials should be stripped of their security clearances.

"[W]hat is going to be surprising," he said, is learning who drafted the letter, how many drafts there were and "how many of those 51 will actually stand behind this letter and this scam — and they had to know it was a scam at the time, and I think that's what people are very frustrated with. 

"I've said this from day one: Anybody who signed that letter should not ever be allowed anywhere near a government job, let alone a security clearance, and I still hold to that to this day, and there's a lot of very prominent people who signed that letter that had to have known better at the time."

Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast last week that the letter had "some real connections with the Biden campaign."

Jordan sent letters to 12 of the former intelligence officials in February, asking that they fully comply with a request sent to them last April for documents and testimony relevant to the letter they signed.

The New York Post asked the former officials last month if they regretted signing the letter. While most didn't respond, some of those who commented stood by the letter, and none expressed regret for signing it.

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