Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied soliciting a letter from intelligence experts who falsely claimed Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop was Russian disinformation, the Daily Wire reported. The letter, released in October before the 2020 presidential election, was signed by 51 former intelligence officials.
The origin of the letter came up during a House Judiciary and Intelligence Committee hearing with former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell. A transcript from the meeting revealed that Morell claimed he crafted the letter not long after a meeting with Blinken.
"With regard to that letter, I didn’t – it wasn’t my idea, didn’t ask for it, didn’t solicit it," Blinken said in response to allegations that he was involved. "And I think the testimony that the former deputy director of the CIA, Mike Morrell, put forward confirms that."
In the final weeks of President Joe Biden's campaign, the bombshell story about Hunter Biden's "laptop from Hell" threatened his candidacy. An eleventh-hour assist in the form of this letter seemed to be made to order.
The letter, dated October 19, 2020, was signed by 51 ex-intelligence personnel claiming that the laptop had "all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation." The media ran with it, including Politico, and gave then-candidate Joe Biden the perfect out when his opponent brought it up in a debate.
Then-President Donald Trump brought up information from the laptop, including kickback for the "Big Guy" that many believe implicated Joe Biden in his son's shady dealings, the New York Post reported. "Don’t give me this stuff about how you’re this innocent baby," Trump said to Biden during the final debate.
"They are calling you a corrupt politician," Trump pointed out. Biden shot back with his ready-made objection, thanks to the letter that may or may not have been written at the behest of Blinken.
"Fifty former national intelligence professionals said this: what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plot," Biden claimed. Trump would not let it go at that.
“You mean the laptop is now another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?” Trump asked. Apparently, that lazy narrative was exactly what they would stick with throughout the election, as if someone had purposefully orchestrated it.
There's no proof it was Blinken, but Morell had answered "yes" when asked whether Blinken's call had anything to do with the letter. At the time, he was Biden's foreign policy adviser during the campaign.
After Morell's admission about the origin of the letter, the GOP contends that this proves there was a "concerted effort to minimize and suppress public dissemination of the serious allegations about the Biden family" to save his campaign. However, Democrats on the committee point to another part of the transcript where Morell seemingly claims Blinken wasn't involved.
"To be clear, no part of that interview demonstrates that Tony Blinken or any other Biden campaign official asked Mike Morell to write a letter about Hunter Biden’s laptop," the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said in a statement. Still, the laptop has since been verified as the real deal, which calls into question this supposedly unsolicited letter.
Moreover, former CIA Moscow station chief Dan Hoffman admitted that he and "many others" were tapped to sign onto this letter. While he initially thought it was "natural to lay the blame at the Kremlin’s doorstep," he refused to sign without any evidence that it was, as did many of his colleagues.
The government and the media seemed bent on dismissing Hunter Biden's laptop and all it contained. However, it's clear now that this claim was mostly a political ploy, and perhaps included the exculpatory letter as part of the strategy.