Did the ‘spies who lied’ commit a crime or simply the most unethical act a public servant possibly could? 

Election interference comes in many forms. The party controlling the White House could, say, collude with the administration’s attorney general to stage a raid on the leader of the opposition party’s home ahead of an important midterm election. A sitting president could announce an executive order to cancel $400 billion in student debt in order to entice younger voters to the polls. He might even paint the opposing party as fascists who are intent on “destroying American democracy” in a nationwide address.

It could also take the form of a government agency opening a bogus investigation into a presidential candidate they despised and leaking false information about him to the media ahead of an election. 

Last week, we learned that in October 2020, as a top advisor to the Biden campaign, current Secretary of State Antony Blinken allegedly served as the “impetus” behind the infamous letter signed by 51 prominent former intelligence community leaders ahead of the presidential election. The signers, you will recall, claimed that the New York Post’s devastating story about Hunter Biden’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

This was no small thing. Their pivotal letter arguably saved Biden’s candidacy. The Biden campaign and the “spies who lied” knew the legacy media would pick up their narrative, and they were not disappointed. Politico immediately published the letter with the headline, “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former officials say.”

Just days after the letter was released, then-candidate Joe Biden used it to shut down then-President Donald Trump who had raised the issue of the family’s alleged overseas influence peddling operations in a critical debate. 

In an April 20 letter, Ohio Republican Reps. Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government, and Mike Turner, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, informed Blinken what they had learned during transcribed interviews with former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell and Nick Shapiro, a former adviser to ex-CIA Director John Brennan. 

They wrote, “Morell testified that on or around October 17, 2020, you reached out to him to discuss the Hunter Biden laptop story. … According to Morell, although your outreach was couched as simply gathering Morell’s reaction to the Post story, it set in motion the events that led to the issuance of the public statement. Morell testified:

“Q: But, prior to [Secretary Blinken’s] call, you – you did not have any intent to write this statement?A: I did not.

“Q: Okay. So his call triggered –

“A: It did, yes.

“Q: – that intent in you?

“A: Yes. Absolutely.”

According to the letter, Morell told the committee he had received a phone call from Steve Ricchetti, Chairman of the Biden campaign, following the debate to thank him for writing the letter. Morell also admitted “that one of his two goals in releasing the statement was to help then-Vice President Biden in the debate and to assist him in winning the election.”

While acknowledging that “the statement’s signatories have an unquestioned right to free speech and free association”, the letter stated that “their reference to their national security credentials lent weight to the story and suggested access to specialized information unavailable to other Americans. This concerted effort to minimize and suppress public dissemination of the serious allegations about the Biden family was a grave disservice to all American citizens’ informed participation in our democracy.”

The letter concluded with a request for Blinken to forward all documents and communications relating to the letter to the committee by May 4th.

It should be noted that both Blinken and Morell had strong personal interests in a Biden victory. Blinken had his eye on the Secretary of State position in a potential Biden administration and Morell was hoping to become the next CIA Director. According to CNN, “Morell had long been considered a top candidate for CIA director in a Biden administration, … but key Democrats objected, claiming he publicly supported the CIA’s enhanced interrogation methods after the Sept. 11 attacks.“

At any rate, much as a defense attorney works to create reasonable doubt in the face of incriminating evidence, these highly credentialed intelligence officials provided a very plausible explanation for the devastating material. By coordinating this letter to blunt the effects of the New York Post’s accurate report, the former national security officials abused their power to carry out a fraud of biblical proportions which arguably swayed the outcome of a presidential election. Their strategy worked out precisely as they had hoped. 

Did these once highly-revered former intelligence community leaders commit a crime or did they simply perpetrate the most unethical act a public servant possibly could?


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

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1 thought on “Did the ‘spies who lied’ commit a crime or simply the most unethical act a public servant possibly could? ”

  1. Asked another way. Did they in any way violate the Constitutional rights of Donald Trump — or other Americans — under the color of law? Did they interfere with an election using the power of their offices? It became something other than a matter of free speech when they issued their letter using their government positions.

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