HRepublican leaders are poised to subpoena CIA Director William Burns for records of the agency’s possible role with Hunter Biden’s laptop letter aimed at discrediting Joe Biden’s son’s emails as a Russian conspiracy.
One of the signers of Hunter Biden’s laptop letter says he and his wife only signed that unsubstantiated claims of October 2020 of Russian involvement after a CIA official active inside the agency asked him to sign the document that played a crucial role in the 2020 presidential campaign between Joe Biden and then-President Donald Trump.
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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mike Turner (R-OH), chairs of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, said they asked Burns to turn over documents on Wednesday, saying they had “received evidence that the CIA or…” At least one CIA official may have helped recruit signers for the Hunter Biden statement.”
Republicans told Biden’s CIA chief that “this information, if accurate, raises fundamental concerns about the CIA’s role in falsely discrediting allegations about the Biden family in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election.”
David Cariens, a former CIA intelligence analyst, told congressional investigators earlier this year that he and his wife, Janice Cariens, a former CIA operations support officer, signed the letter along with other former intelligence officials, according to a member of the CIA’s pre-release classification The Review Board (PCRB) called him and asked him to do it.
The letter was intended to discredit New post post Stories about the contents of a laptop left by Hunter Biden at a Delaware repair shop at a critical juncture before Joe Biden debated Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Joe Biden quoted the letter onstage to deflect Trump’s criticism of what Trump called a “laptop from hell.”
“Cariens’ disclosure is potentially shocking,” said a joint report last week by the Republican-led Special Subcommittee on Arming the Federal Government and the House Intelligence Committee.
Jordan and Turner argued on Wednesday that the CIA has the documents needed for oversight and that they “fully expect” that the agency will turn over all relevant documents “in unredacted form” by the end of May at the latest, warning “if the CIA doesn’t produce all of them.” On documents they respond to, the committees can resort to coercion to compel surrender.
A House GOP official said the “mandatory process” could include a subpoena.
Cariens emailed staffers on the House Committee on March 5 of this year in response to the Republican investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop letter-signers.
“My last book, a memoir, entitled Escape the madness“, was ahead of the PCRB in October 2020. When the person responsible for reviewing the book called and said it was approved with no changes, I was told about the draft letter,” Cariens told investigators about allegedly contacting Hunter Biden’s laptop letter by one CIA staff.
“The person asked me if I would be willing to sign. (I don’t remember the person’s name or the exact date of the phone call.) After hearing the contents of the letter and the qualifiers it contained, such as: “We would like to emphasize that we do not know if the E -Mails sent to.” New York Post “The testimonies of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and we have no evidence of Russian involvement…” I agreed to sign.”
More than 50 former intelligence operatives quickly signed the laptop letter, adding to the unsubstantiated narrative that Hunter Biden’s laptop stories were nothing more than a product of Russian disinformation — a narrative, thankfully picked up by Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign And spread by some of the laptop letter signers.
The GOP report said that Cariens’ statement “did not include the exact timing of his communication” with the PCRB in October 2020, but that the GOP-led committees received an email exchange that included Kristin Wood, the former senior CIA intelligence officer and laptop letter signer, Cariens wrote at 10:35 am on Oct. 19 that “Yes, I would like to sign the letter,” which is “eight minutes after Wood took the mass distribution email who had sent out a request for signatures”.
Republicans said the PCRB had been in possession of the laptop letter as of 6:34 a.m. that day, when Mike Morell, a former Obama CIA director and co-author of the laptop letter, emailed the statement to the CIA to ask them for approval. The PCRB acknowledged receipt of the comment at 7:11 am and released it for publication at 12:44 pm the same day.
Morell’s email to the CIA’s PCRB on the morning of October 19 read, “This is an urgent job as it must be completed as quickly as possible.” Morell told House investigators this year that he was in a hurry to get the CIA to approve the letter because “we were trying to get it out before the debate” between Trump and Joe Biden. Morell testified to the House of Representatives that the laptop letter was “approved” by the PCRB “as written.”
A CIA spokesman said so Washington Examiner last week that the letter “has only been reviewed for classification, as is customary”.
Morell told Republicans in the House that “I did not coordinate with the CIA” and that he “would have reacted very negatively” had he known that someone at the CIA had allegedly encouraged Cariens to send the laptop letter sign it and called it “inappropriate” would have been a current acting staff officer or contractor involved in the political process.”
Jordan and Turner noted Wednesday that “the CIA admitted that it did not conduct a full search of all agency records prior to the May 9 delivery of the Morell email to the PCRB and the return of the PRCB email to Morell But congressmen said in a May 12 call with committee officials that “the CIA is committed to full cooperation.”
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Republicans said the CIA has now specifically committed to “conducting an agency-wide search for documents and communications bearing each of the names of the 51 signatories” throughout the month of October 2020.
The CIA also said it would search “all CIA phone records” in October 2020 for any “communications between CIA employees and any of the 51 signers of the public statement, including but not limited to David Cariens.”