Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a role in prompting 51 former intelligence officials to sign onto a statement in 2020 that undermined the New York Post’s bombshell story about Hunter Biden, according to congressional testimony from two of the statement’s signatories.
One of the signatories, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, revealed in a behind-closed-doors interview to the House Judiciary and Intel Committees in May that he was informed that Blinken, then a top Biden campaign adviser, had asked former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell to draft the statement.
Clapper “testified to the Committees that former CIA Director John Brennan told him ‘that Tony Blinken had reached out to Michael [Morell] about putting together a public statement,’” committee chairmen Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mike Turner (R-OH) revealed to Blinken in a letter Monday while renewing demands from him for information on the matter.
Clapper said Brennan told him that information at some point prior to Congress launching an investigation into the statement, roughly several months ago but more than a year after the statement’s publication, Breitbart News verified of Clapper’s testimony.
Clapper’s remarks come after Morell first testified in April, according to a report by Judiciary and Intel, that a call he received from Blinken was what “triggered” Morell to draft the statement.
Morell coauthored it with Marc Polymeropoulos, another former CIA official, and then solicited signatures from others formerly in the intelligence community for the explicit two purposes of conveying concerns about Russia’s role in the Post story and helping Biden win the 2020 election.
Contrary to what Brennan testified, Morell told the committees that Blinken did not ask him to write the statement but that he inspired it:
Q. But, prior to his call, you—you did not have any intent to
write this statement?
A. I did not.
Q. Okay. So his call triggered—
A. It did, yes.
Q. —that intent in you?
A. Yes. Absolutely.
The statement, published by Politico two weeks before the presidential election, served to discredit the Post’s 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, wielding their powerful official job titles on their signatures, wrote without evidence that the story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
Blinken denied asking them to publicly claim such an assertion in an interview with Fox News on May 2, saying, “It wasn’t my idea, didn’t ask for it, didn’t solicit it.”
He added that Morell’s testimony corroborated that.
Blinken has not publicly commented on the revelation about Clapper’s testimony and, under threat of subpoena, was given until June 26 to respond to Jordan and Turner with any documents and communication he had on his involvement in the matter.
“Whether you explicitly solicited the letter or not, the Committees’ record is clear that you played a key role in the inception of this statement,” the chairmen wrote.
They reiterated that Polymeropoulos told the committees that someone from “kind of the Biden world” had sought out the statement from Morell.
“Morell said that to me that someone from kind of the Biden world had asked for this. And he did not tell me who it was or any of the other kind of details of it,” Polymeropoulos testified.
Morell, the chairmen also noted, wanted to use the statement to provide Biden with what he described as a debate “talking point,” and Biden would indeed rely on it in the final presidential debate to paint the Post story as a Russian ploy.
Jordan and Turner said the statement ultimately had prevented citizens from being able to “make a fully informed decision” in the highly competitive 2020 election, which Biden ended up narrowly winning.