by Tristan Justice
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is investigating whether the 51 former intelligence officials who signed the infamous Hunter Biden laptop letter were paid by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
After Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop surfaced during the 2020 election, more than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter in Politico saying the computer “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In a letter to CIA Director William Burns on Monday, Jordan, who leads the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, demanded the CIA chief come clean about the agency’s alleged involvement in branding the laptop as Russian disinformation, which plainly amounted to election interference.
“We understand that former intelligence officials often return to the intelligence community under private contract for their previous agencies,” Jordan wrote. “It is vital to the Committees’ oversight to understand whether any of the signatories of the public statement were actively employed by CIA as contractors or consultants at the time they signed the public statement.”
“If so,” Jordan added, “this information would raise fundamental concerns about the role of the CIA as it pertains to the October 19, 2020, ‘Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails’ signed and published by 51 former intelligence community officials in the weeks preceding the 2020 presidential election.”
A report from the Weaponization Committee in May revealed the CIA’s covert involvement in orchestrating the letter. Evidence that surfaced from Hunter Biden’s laptop unveiled blockbuster details about the Biden family’s influence-peddling operations now at the center of a Republican impeachment inquiry.
In his Monday letter to the CIA chief, Jordan demanded a list of all signatories to the letter “who were on active contract or consulting for the CIA at any time from January 1, 2020, to the present,” as well as whether any of those potential contracts “pertained to Hunter Biden’s business dealings, Biden family influence-peddling, Ukraine, or the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.”
Several of the intelligence letters’ signatories have since doubled down on the debunked claims of Russian interference despite the laptop having been verified even by news outlets that first dismissed the computer’s legitimacy. Charges that the laptop stemmed from a Kremlin campaign were even debunked by rare on-the-record statements from the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Department of National Intelligence, and the State Department before Election Day. However, the laptop was suppressed by major online platforms, at least in part over the allegations that it was Russian propaganda.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper defended signing the letter in an interview with New York Magazine last fall, with the magazine noting that “Clapper was not pleased to be asked about the letter two years after its release.”
“What are you trying to get me to say, that I screwed up and I shouldn’t have signed the letter? I’m not going to say that,” Clapper told the paper. “As far as I was concerned, we were waving the yellow flag. At the time, it was fishy to me. It had the characteristics of a Russian disinformation campaign.”
Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, who led the agency under President Barack Obama, likewise told Fox News in October, “No, I don’t have any regrets” about signing the letter.
Last week, Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., became the latest to peddle the fake Russia narrative at a hearing on censorship with the House Weaponization Committee.