Two top Republicans ramped up pressure Monday on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to provide information about any involvement he had in 51 former intelligence officials publicly casting doubt on the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the leadup to the 2020 election.
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mike Turner (R-OH), chairmen of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, respectively, indicated in a letter obtained by Breitbart News that they may resort to subpoenaing Blinken for the requested information, which they first asked for in April.
Blinken’s initial response to the chairmen had been “unresponsive,” they wrote.
“We received a reply letter from your attorney on May 4, 2023, which set forth several reasons why you believe you do not need to cooperate, and therefore was unresponsive to our request,” they wrote, adding at the conclusion of the letter that they may resort to “compulsory process,” i.e., a subpoena, if Blinken does not comply.
The chairmen are seeking any communications and documents Blinken has related to the ex-officials’ now-debunked statement.
Read a copy of the letter below:
Blinken, in 2020, served as a paid senior adviser to the Biden campaign, and the coauthor of the statement, former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell, testified to Congress this year that a phone call from Blinken is what triggered Morell to draft it.
The statement, published by Politico two weeks before the 2020 presidential election, served to discredit the New York Post’s bombshell story implicating Joe Biden in his son Hunter’s business dealings.
The story, written by now-Breitbart News Political Editor Emma-Jo Morris, was based on emails the Post obtained from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, which the FBI also subpoenaed in 2019 when the repair shop owner with whom he left it reported its existence, and which many other legacy media outlets have since corroborated as authentic.
The 51 ex-officials wrote without evidence that the story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
A report that Jordan’s and Turner’s committees released in May revealed the political motivations behind the statement, showing through testimonies and emails the committees had gathered that Morell explicitly wanted to draft it to both convey his concerns about Russia and help Biden win the 2020 election.
Morell also coordinated with the Biden campaign on the public dissemination of the statement and sought to “rush” needed approval from the CIA for it to give Biden a “talking point” in time for the final presidential debate, the report found.
Confronted about the story during the debate, Biden indeed relied on the statement to refute the Post’s story about him.
In a sane world, the media would be running this on a 24/7 loop. pic.twitter.com/80DkunRajG
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) December 10, 2020
As for Blinken’s role, Jordan and Turner reiterated how Morell testified that Blinken did not tell him to write the statement but that a call from Blinken prompted him to draft it.
Jordan and Turner also revealed for the first time that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that former CIA Director John Brennan told Clapper that “Tony Blinken had reached out to Michael [Morell] about putting together a public statement,” which contradicts Morell’s testimony.
Both Clapper and Brennan, who also signed the statement, testified before Congress in behind-closed-doors interviews last month.
Blinken has denied having any involvement in the statement, telling Fox News on May 2, “It wasn’t my idea, didn’t ask for it, didn’t solicit it,” adding that Morell’s testimony corroborates that.
Jordan and Turner are still seeking however to nail down why Morell said Blinken was the impetus for the statement, especially in light of the new contradictory testimony from Clapper.
They wrote, “It is clear that your outreach to Mr. Morell resulted in the drafting and issuance of the public statement, which had the goal of giving the Biden campaign a ‘talking point to push back on [President] Trump’ during the final presidential campaign.”
They added, “These actions deprived the American people of the opportunity to make a fully informed decision during the 2020 presidential election.”
They gave Blinken until June 26 to comply with their requests.