In a recent development that has sent shockwaves through the political landscape, the legal watchdog group, Judicial Watch, has filed a lawsuit seeking CIA records related to the infamous letter that labeled Hunter Biden’s laptop as containing “Russian disinformation” before the 2020 election. This letter, which has since been thoroughly debunked, was signed by 51 former intelligence officials. Polling data suggests that this letter had a significant impact on the election, potentially swaying public opinion during a crucial period.
The Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed last Thursday. It aims to obtain all records and communications related to the agency’s Prepublication Classification Review Board concerning an email dated Oct. 19, 2020, circulated by former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell. This email has become a focal point of contention, with many questioning the motivations and veracity behind its claims.
On April 20, in a revelation that stunned many, Morell stated that the Biden campaign pressured him to “help Biden” by organizing the group of 51 intelligence officers to sign the controversial letter. This admission raises questions about the integrity of intelligence officials and their potential involvement in political campaigns.
In a subsequent sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Morell went on to identify the current Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, as the official who asked him to circulate the letter. This revelation further deepens the intrigue, drawing a direct line between the Biden campaign and the intelligence community. The intertwining of politics and intelligence in this manner has raised eyebrows and led to calls for greater transparency and accountability.
Morell’s communication with the review board — which is tasked with reviewing materials compiled by current or former CIA personnel for classified information — sought clearance for the letter. This letter made a bold claim, suggesting that the New York Post’s story on the laptop contained “all the earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.” Given the gravity of such an accusation, especially during an election period, the need for thorough vetting was paramount.
However, a report from the House Judiciary Committee on May 10, 2023, unveiled that three days before the second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden, Morell, then the Acting CIA Director, sent the finalized letter to the PCRB for review. He labeled it a “rush job,” and quickly secured its approval. This rapid approval process has led to further scrutiny, with many questioning whether proper protocols were followed.
Judicial Watch, in its announcement of the lawsuit, stated that it was initiated after the CIA failed to respond to a FOIA request on May 11, which sought the records. The watchdog group’s persistence in this matter underscores the importance of the issue at hand and the need for transparency.
Morell, once considered a potential candidate for the full-time CIA Director position, made a startling admission. He stated that he followed through with Blinken’s request to “help Vice President Biden … because I wanted him to win the election.” This candid acknowledgment has reignited debates about the impartiality of intelligence officials and the potential for undue influence in critical national matters.
As this lawsuit progresses, many will be watching closely. The outcome could have profound implications for the relationship between politics and intelligence, and the public’s trust in both.
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