Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

By Charlie McCarthy    |   Wednesday, 17 May 2023 01:11 PM EDT


House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, have fired off a letter to CIA Director Bill Burns renewing their requests for documents and phone records concerning the public statement on the Hunter Biden emails letter that was signed by 51 former intelligence community officials.

The House committees last week issued a report that revealed the October 2020 letter was perceived as being so partisan that many intelligence officers refused to sign it.

“On March 21, 2023, we wrote to you requesting documents in the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) custody relating to this statement about Hunter Biden,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “This statement, signed by former intelligence community officials using their official titles and emphasizing their national security credentials, suggested that public reporting about Hunter Biden’s business dealings and Biden family influence-peddling ‘ha[d] all the hallmarks of a Russian information operation.’

“We have since learned that the statement was drafted and disseminated following communications between former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell and Biden campaign adviser—now Secretary of State—Antony Blinken.”

Jordan and Turner wrote, after making a minimal production of documents May 9, “the CIA admitted that it did not perform a full and complete search of all agency records prior to that production.”

A May 12 phone conversation with House staff ended with the CIA committing to cooperate in full with the committees’ oversight.

Jordan and Turner wrote the CIA committed to:

  • Conducting an agency-wide search for documents and communications with each of the names of the 51 signatories to the public statement for the period Oct. 1-31, 2020.
  • Conducting a search for all documents and communications related to the approval of [former CIA employee] David Cariens’ memoir “Escaping Madness,” including but not limited to Cariens’ email(s) to the PCRB [Prepublication Classification Review Board] seeking approval of his work, any internal communications about the work, and any outgoing email responses from the PCRB to Cariens.
  • Conducting a search of all CIA phone records for the period Oct. 1-31, 2020, for any phone communications between CIA employees and any of the 51 signatories to the public statement, including but not limited to Cariens.

The lawmakers ended their May 16 letter by saying they expect all documents by May 30.

“If the CIA does not produce all responsive documents, the committees may resort to compulsory process,” Jordan and Turner wrote.

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