Investigators unearth evidence CIA, Antony Blinken played deceptive politics on Hunter Biden laptop

Secretary of State insists he is apolitical, and spy agency by law can't meddle in domestic affairs. But Congress finds otherwise.

Published: May 10, 2023 12:04am

Updated: May 10, 2023 7:27am

From its inception in 1947, the CIA has been barred from spying on Americans, conducting internal security functions or meddling in U.S. domestic affairs. As recently as last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was insisting he is apolitical too. "From my perspective, I'm not not engaging in politics," America's top diplomat declared.

Both of those long-held claims are directly challenged by a new joint investigative report set to be released Wednesday by the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees that traces the origins of the now-infamous letter signed in fall 2020 by 51 U.S. intelligence pros who falsely discredited Hunter Biden's laptop in the final days of the 2020 election as Russian disinformation.

"The public statement by 51 former intelligence officials was a political operation to help elect Vice President Biden in the 2020 presidential election," concludes the report obtained by Just the News.

"The Biden campaign took active measures to discredit the allegations about Hunter Biden by exploiting the national security credentials of former intelligence officials," it added.

You can read the full report here:

The report affirms earlier reporting by Just the News showing that former acting CIA Director Michael Morell took the lead in gathering former intelligence officials to sign the letter and put their name behind the unsubstantiated claim of Russia interference in coordination with the campaign.

Morell admitted to congressional investigators that he acted to help Biden win the election and was "triggered' to do so by a call from Blinken, then a campaign adviser to Biden, the report added. His emails even told prospective signatories of his political intentions.

"The more former intelligence officers the better," Morell wrote a former CIA officer in an email made public by the report. "Campaign will be thrilled."

But the report does much more than simply prove the political origins of the letter, which in 2020 was portrayed as an organic security warning when in fact it was a campaign stunt without factual merit.

It also raises troubling concerns about the behavior of Blinken and at least one active-duty CIA official at the time.

The report divulges an email showing Blinken emailed Morell the key news article used by the 51 U.S. experts to falsely insinuate the laptop's contents were Russian disinformation.

Just the News reported last month that testimony gathered by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan revealed that Morell organized the letter to benefit Biden and that his role was "triggered" by a call from Blinken in October 2020 shortly after the Hunter Biden laptop emerged in the New York Post and efforts began to censor stories about it.

Since that revelation, Blinken has tried to minimize his role without challenging the veracity of Morell's account, telling reporters it was not his idea to do the letter.

The new email shows Blinken played a key role one evening in mid-October 2020, delivering a USA Today article that would eventually be quoted in the letter in the one passage that suggested the Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. The email was sent a few hours after Blinken called Morell.

The subject line of Blinken's email at 10:53 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2020 read: "A tabloid got a trove of data on Hunter Biden from Rudy Giuliani. Now, the FBI is probing a possible disinformation campaign." The text of the USA article was attached.

In his testimony to Congress, Morell confirmed he received the email from Blinken.

The committee report, slated to be released soon, is expected to note that Blinken included a reference to the Biden campaign's rapid response director.

"Notably, at the bottom of Blinken's email was the signature block of Andrew Bates, then-Director of Rapid Response for the Biden campaign," the report reads. In that role, Bates "was charged with defending" then-Vice President Biden "and his team against attacks on the campaign trail, while also employing an aggressive offensive strategy against President Trump and his team."

The CIA also faces fresh questions after the report suggested one of its active duty employees may have recruited signatories for the letter, essentially putting the spy agency's muscle into an effort to sway the U.S. election against then-President Donald Trump.”

"The Committees have evidence that an employee affiliated with the CIA may have assisted in obtaining signatories for the statement," the report concluded. "One signer of the statement, former CIA analyst David Cariens, disclosed to the Committees that a CIA employee affiliated with the agency's Prepublication Classification Review Board ('PCRB') informed him of the existence of the statement and asked if he would sign it."

The report further stated that the committees "have requested additional material from the CIA, which has ignored the request to date."

A CIA spokesperson told Just the News that the "role of CIA's Pre-Publication Review Board (PCRB) is to review materials submitted by current and former officers to determine if the materials contain any classified information."

In at least some instances Morell's own solicitations expressly referenced the Biden campaign's intent to use the letter. An Oct. 19, 2020, email that Morell sent to former CIA Director John Brennan explicitly noted the partisan nature of the effort.

Morell told Brennan he was "trying to give the campaign, particularly during the debate on Thursday, a talking point to push back on Trump on this issue."

An Oct. 18 email to former CIA senior intelligence officer Kristin Wood also included explicit mention of the statement's partisan purpose. "I have control of the document," Morell stated. "The more former intelligence officials the better. Campaign will be thrilled."

Wood aided Morell in soliciting signatures for the statement.

Retired FBI intelligence chief Kevin Brock told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show the behavior of the CIA official described in the report is "unsettling" and "crosses a little bit of a border" if it is accurate.

"I think the 51 signatories were all mostly former CIA or related to the CIA," he noted. "I think 48 or 46 of them had that kind of relationship. So it was definitely a CIA-type of effort. Or they were former. Now, if this is true, where it looks like there was involvement from some official in the agency in encouraging the promulgation of this letter, that raises a lot more questions.

"The CIA is a Cabinet-level department. It has a right to effect the policies of the sitting president, but it doesn't have the right to influence the electorate. And this is a situation where they made up information and passed it off as vetted intelligence in order to purposely deceive the American people."

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News