Former CIA director John Brennan has admitted that an infamous letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials seeking to discredit the reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop was “political.”
Brennan, the CIA chief during the Obama administration, admitted to House Judiciary Committee investigators in a four-hour closed-door statement that the letter, which falsely claimed that emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop Russian disinformation were, “politics” was, Fox news reports.
Brennan’s statement comes as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is expected to testify on May 17.
Both Brennan and Clapper signed a letter from 51 former intelligence officials claiming that Hunter’s laptop had “all the classic hallmarks of a Russian intelligence operation.”
An email shows that Brennan agrees to have his name added to the letter of signers by then-CIA Director Mike Morell.
John Brennan’s statement comes as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (pictured together in 2014) is expected to testify on May 17.
An email seen by the New York Post shows Morell asking Brennan to add his name to the letter’s signers. Brennan emails back with his intention to sign the letter
Hunter’s laptop contained explicit photos of the troubled Hunter Biden, naked, with prostitutes and drug use, as well as multiple emails and texts between the 53-year-old and his father.
It comes as a bombshell Republican report claims the CIA was actively involved in getting the 51 signatures on the letter, which the House Judiciary Committee says was part of a “political operation to help elect Joe Biden” in November 2022.
It alleges that a CIA operative “may have helped get signatures for the statement,” and accuses former CIA Deputy Director and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell and the Biden campaign of conspiring to get the letter approved quickly.
A signatory to the statement, former CIA analyst David Cariens, “disclosed to the committees that a CIA employee associated with the agency’s Prepublication Classification Review Board (PCRB) informed him of the existence of the statement. and asked him if he would sign it. Notes in the house survey report.
The CIA employee is said to have ‘asked’ Cariens if he wanted to sign the statement, to which he agreed.
“The committees have requested additional material from the CIA, which has so far ignored the request,” the report continues.
It came after Morell admitted to the House Judiciary Committee last month that he had been asked by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken — who was a senior member of Biden’s campaign at the time — to coordinate the letter.
Morrell said he was asked by Blinken to gather former intelligence chiefs to agree that the laptop looked like a smear campaign.
On October 19, 2020, Morell reportedly sent the final draft of the letter to the CIA for review, calling it a “rush job” so it could be approved.
One email seen by New York Post shows Morell asking Brennan to add his name to the letter’s signers. Brennan emails back with his intention to sign the letter.
On October 18, emails in the report also showed that Clapper emailed Morrell stating his intention to sign the letter.
Both Brennan and Clapper signed a letter from 51 former intelligence officials claiming that Hunter’s laptop had “all the classic hallmarks of a Russian intelligence operation.” Pictured: Hunter Biden and Joe Biden in Washington DC in 2016
Photo of laptop allegedly owned by Hunter Biden
He also offered a key sentence to include, writing: “I have one editorial suggestion for the letter: I think it would reinforce the verbiage if you say this has all the classic hallmarks of a Soviet/Russian intelligence operation rather than the ‘feeling’. of a Russian operation.
Morrell responded that Clapper’s suggestion was accepted and “It was a good one.”
The letter was finally signed by 51 former intelligence officials, including himself and four other former CIA directors, including John Brennan and Leon Panetta.
The letter was published by Politico five days after The New York Post first reported on the contents of the laptop.
The headline of Politico’s story, on October 19, 2020, was “Hunter Biden’s story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former officials say.”
The letter claimed The New York Post’s story “has all the classic hallmarks of a Russian intelligence operation.”
Several media outlets, including DailyMail.com, have since confirmed the contents of the laptop and that it belonged to Hunter Biden.
Joe Biden used the letter during the Oct. 22 debate against Donald Trump, saying he believed the coverage surrounding his son’s abandoned computer was the work of Russia.
Morell was thanked for his work coordinating the letter, with Biden campaign chairman Steve Ricchetti calling him after the debate to thank him.
He would then be considered for the role of CIA director – a job that eventually went to William Burns.
Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop sparked great reports just before the 2020 presidential election
Hunter’s laptop is filled with files that provide a shocking glimpse into his dissolute life of drug use and prostitution
Morell, who has been a consultant, strategist, lecturer and author since his firing nearly a decade ago, said he was never formally in talks for the role.
Morrell recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee that an Oct. 17 phone call with Biden’s current Secretary of State Antony Blinken “definitely” piqued his interest in coordinating the letter.
However, Blinken insisted two weeks ago that he was not behind the infamous letter, emphasizing that he does not “do politics”.
“One of the great advantages of this job is that I don’t do politics, I don’t deal with it,” said the state secretary. “But regarding that letter — it wasn’t my idea, I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t ask for it,” Blinken said on Fox News.
At the time, he was reportedly behind the letter. Blinken was not a secretary of state but a Biden campaign adviser.
Asked by Fox News if he accepted the laptop’s legitimacy after most major news organizations verified it, Blinken said he would not discuss politics.
‘I don’t do politics. I have a lot on my agenda. Some of the things we just talked about are trying to help Russian aggression against our allies, partners around the world and dealing with some of China’s challenges. We now have a situation in Sudan, which has completely taken up my time.’
Biden and his campaign at the time cited the letter to discredit Hunter Biden’s laptop as a “Russian disinformation campaign.”
The then-presidential candidate cited it during a debate with Trump just days after its publication on Oct. 22, 2020, to deflect the investigation of his son’s alleged foreign-influenced peddling programs.
Mike Morell served as acting CIA director for several months in 2011 and again in 2012-2013. He was asked by the Biden campaign in October 2020 to help recruit other former intelligence chiefs to discredit coverage of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said at the time that Hunter’s laptop was actually “not part of a Russian disinformation campaign” and had made that clear to the FBI and the larger intelligence community.
The Republican report also details how the CIA coordinated with the Biden campaign to shop around the letter and get press coverage.
Former CIA senior adviser Nick Shapiro drafted a media pitch that he sent to a number of outlets, including Politico – who eventually wrote the first story – the Washington Post and the Associated Press.
Current White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates, who at the time served as director of the Biden rapid response campaign, was included in emails from Shapiro about pressure to distribute the letter to the media.
Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary, and Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Blinken last week telling him they were investigating the letter.
“As part of our oversight, we learned that you played a role in the formation of this statement while serving as Biden campaign adviser, and so we are asking for your assistance with our oversight.”
The Biden campaign “took active steps to discredit the allegations about Hunter Biden by misusing the national security credentials of former intelligence officials,” the report also states.