Here’s the question the 51 spies who signed pre-2020 election letter must be asked under oath

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper offered a stunning excuse last week for his role in coordinating a letter that discredited the Hunter Biden laptop story as having “all the hallmarks” of a Russian disinformation campaign. His attempted deflection is almost certainly due to increased scrutiny from a Republican-led House that’s determined to hold him accountable. 

Clapper’s attempts to blame Politico for “misrepresenting” the concerns laid out by dozens of intelligence officials about a potential link between Hunter Biden’s laptop and Russia just won’t do — especially as evidence of links between President Joe Biden and his family’s overseas influence peddling scheme grows.

“There was message distortion. All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation,” Clapper told Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler last week. “Politico deliberately distorted what we said. It was clear in paragraph five.”

Suffice it to say, Republicans are not buying it.

Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, has examined the money trail between Chinese-controlled companies and the Biden family. He literally wrote the book on these dealings. In a weekend interview on Fox News, Schweizer discussed the mounting evidence in the case linking Biden to some of these deals. And he has a question that each of the 51 retired intelligence community leaders who signed the infamous Hunter Biden letter should answer under oath: “Does [the Biden influence-peddling scheme] not have the hallmark of a Chinese intelligence operation?”

If they answered this question honestly, he concluded, they would be forced to admit that it does.

“The evidence continues to mount,” Schweizer said. “When it comes to China, for example, you had three Chinese businessmen that funneled tens of millions of dollars to [Biden’s family]. Each one of those three – [Chinese business mogul] Che Feng, [president and CEO of Harvest Capital Management] Henry Zhao, and Chairman Ye [Jianming, founder and former chairman of CEFC China Energy Company] – all had direct, abiding and deep ties to Chinese intelligence when they were arranging these deals for the Bidens. And that’s not me saying that, that’s according to Hong Kong corporate records. 

“They were business partners with the vice minister of state security who was responsible for foreign recruitment of spies,” Schweizer explained. “They were business partners with the former family of the director of the ministry of state security which runs the entire spy apparatus. In the case of Chairman Ye, they actually worked as part of the spy apparatus.

Then Schweizer hits the nail on the head: “There’s no discernible service. They have still not explained what they [the Bidens] actually got this money for — What were they doing in return in terms of a legitimate business enterprise. So it begs the question of this being an intelligence operation.”

It’s remarkable that the same intelligence officials who were so quick to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation, despite the complete lack of evidence supporting this allegation, have been radio silent on the potential threat of the business connections between the Bidens and China. Indeed, if the laptop had all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation, as they claimed, how much more does the current situation reek of a Chinese intelligence operation?

From the more than 150 Suspicious Activity Reports generated by U.S. banks involving Hunter Biden’s foreign business transactions to his recently revealed email that reads a lot like a State Department briefing, red flags are popping up everywhere.

But I suppose evidence doesn’t mean too much to Clapper or the other intelligence officials who have made it clear that their political agenda is more important than the facts. We ought to remember a  2017 House Intelligence Committee hearing regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election, when then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), asked former CIA Director John Brennan, who also signed the laptop letter, “When you learned of Russian efforts, did you have evidence of a connection between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors?”

Brennan famously replied, “As I said, Mr. Gowdy, I don’t do evidence.”

A previous version of this article appeared in The Washington Examiner.

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