House Intelligence Committee: CIA Director Gina Haspel was aware of the Oct. 19, 2020 laptop statement

by WorldTribune Staff, June 26, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

CIA higher-ups, including then-Director Gina Haspel, were made aware of the statement by 51 intelligence community officials that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinormation” before it was published on Oct. 19, 2020, according to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The report, released on June 25, states that Haspel and other high-ranking officials at the CIA “were made aware of the Hunter Biden statement prior to its approval and publication.

Then-CIA Director Gina Haspel was give a heads up on the letter signed by 51 intel officials which referred to the Hunter Biden laptop as ‘Russian disinformation,’ a new House report said.

Because several former senior intelligence officials signed the statement, the PCRB (Prepublication Classification Review Board) sent the draft statement to the CIA’s then-Chief Operating Officer (COO) Andrew Makridis, who said he subsequently informed then-Director Haspel or then-Deputy Director Vaughn Frederick Bishop that the statement would be published soon. Senior CIA leadership had an opportunity at that time to slow down the CIA’s process for reviewing publication submissions and ensure that such an extraordinary statement was properly vetted.”

They apparently did neither.

What’s more, some of the statement’s signatories, including Michael Morell and former CIA Inspector General David Buckley, were on active contract with the CIA at the time of its publication, according to the report by both the committee and the Second Interim Joint Staff Report of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Garrett Ziegler, founder of the Marco Polo research group which published an online database of the Hunter Biden laptop, said in a Telegram post:

“I do want to remind everyone that David Buckley (1 of the 2 ACTIVE contractors with the CIA when the letter was posted) was the STAFF DIRECTOR for the scam J6 Committee whose illegitimate constitution led to the current imprisonment of my former boss [Peter Navarro].”

Morell, before the House committees learned of his contract with the CIA, had acknowledged: “It’s inappropriate for a currently serving staff officer or
contractor to be involved in the political process.”

The report continues: “Due to purported operational concerns, the CIA declined to declassify the entire universe of signatories who were on active contract. In addition, some signatories to the Hunter Biden statement also had special ‘Green Card’ access to the CIA at the time of the statement’s publication, allowing them to gain entry to secure CIA facilities.”

The report points out that, after publication of the Hunter Biden statement, CIA employees internally expressed concern about the statement’s politicized content, acknowledging it was not “helpful to the Agency in the long run.” At least one employee found it “[i]nteresting to see what was submitted and approved” when discussing media talking points that the statement’s co-author, former Senior Intelligence Service Officer Marc Polymeropoulos, submitted related to the statement.

When discussing Polymeropoulos’s talking points, another CIA official stated, “It appears [Polymeropoulos] is actively involved in a pro-Biden campaign and may be disclosing classified information in his efforts.”

The investigation by the House committees also found that the CIA alerted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence about the draft of the Hunter Biden statement.

“As CIA officials circulated the Hunter Biden statement to the highest levels of the Agency, the PCRB also felt compelled to share the statement with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), requesting a quick turn on ODNI’s assessment. After exchanging emails, ODNI deferred to the CIA’s judgement regarding the approval of the statement and stated it had no objections to the statement’s release,” the report said.

The report’s conclusion states:

“The signatories’ choice to leverage the authority of their former intelligence community titles to peddle a narrative about foreign election interference inappropriately embroiled the Agency in the domestic political process. The poor judgment displayed by the signatories and the CIA’s executive suite — those who could have prevented the Agency from being entangled in a false and domestically politicized narrative of Russian interference — is as relevant today as it was four years ago. To date, there are no clear or transparent rules to prevent intelligence contractors from leveraging their access to the CIA for political purposes.

“Seasoned CIA officials like Morell and Polymeropoulos were able to subvert the process to spread disinformation in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election because the CIA lacked meaningful safeguards to prevent this from happening. Unless and until the CIA makes substantial reforms to its own oversight processes surrounding public statements and contractor behavior, these problems could persist.”

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