Bombshell Report Says Mike Morell, David Buckley Were on CIA Payroll When They Signed Hunter Biden Letter

A bombshell report released Tuesday afternoon by the House Judiciary GOP claims that at least two of the 51 “former” intelligence officials who signed a letter discrediting the Hunter Biden “Laptop from Hell” as Russian disinformation were actually on the CIA’s payroll at the time they signed the letter – despite actively asserting that they didn’t have access to any classified information.

Former Deputy Director Michael Morell and former CIA Inspector General David Buckley are the two signatories named in Tuesday’s report as being on active contract at the time they signed the statement. Since the CIA “declined to declassify the entire universe of signatories who were on active contract,” though, it’s unknown how many signatories were both colluding with the Biden campaign and on the CIA payroll.

In addition, the report states that the statement’s co-author, former Senior Intelligence Service Officer Marc Polymeropoulos, included classified information in his proposed media talking points “that had to be removed before publication.”

Some points from the Executive Summary:

High ranking CIA officials, up to and including then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, were made aware of the Hunter Biden statement prior to its approval and publication. Because several former senior intelligence officials signed the statement, the PCRB sent the draft statement to the CIA’s then-Chief Operating Officer (COO) Andrew Makridis, who said he subsequently informed then-Director Haspel or then-Deputy Director Vaughn Frederick Bishop that the statement would be published soon. Senior CIA leadership had an opportunity at that time to slow down the CIA’s process for reviewing publication submissions and ensure that such an extraordinary statement was properly vetted.

Some of the statement’s signatories, including Michael Morell, were on active contract with the CIA at the time of the Hunter Biden statement’s publication. Throughout the course of the Committees’ investigation, the signatories claimed to not have had access to any classified information when asserting that the allegations surrounding Hunter Biden’s laptop had “all the hallmarks” of Russian disinformation. However, at the time of the statement’s publication, at least two signatories—Morell and former CIA Inspector General David Buckley—were on the CIA’s payroll as contractors. Due to purported operational concerns, the CIA declined to declassify the entire universe of signatories who were on active contract. In addition, some signatories to the Hunter Biden statement also had special “Green Card” access to the CIA at the time of the statement’s publication, allowing them to gain entry to secure CIA facilities.

After publication of the Hunter Biden statement, CIA employees internally expressed concern about the statement’s politicized content, acknowledging it was not “helpful to the Agency in the long run.” At least one employee found it “[i]nteresting to see what was submitted and approved” when discussing media talking points that the statement’s co-author, former Senior Intelligence Service Officer Marc Polymeropoulos, submitted related to the statement. When discussing Polymeropoulos’s talking points, another CIA official stated, “It appears [Polymeropoulos] is actively involved in a pro-Biden campaign and may be disclosing classified information in his  efforts.” The CIA’s internal review board, known as the Prepublication Classification Review Board (PCRB), determined that Polymeropoulos’s talking points contained classified information that had to be removed prior to publication.

The report contains emails showing the direct involvement of senior CIA officials, including Haspel, in quickly approving the statement for publication (approval meaning that it did not contain classified information). The first email was sent by Morell at 6:31 AM on Monday, October 19, 2020, and Morell received complete approval within six hours. Haspel could have slowed down the process or questioned the appropriateness of current CIA contractors participating in such an overtly political move (especially since the CIA likely knew that the laptop and its contents were genuine), but she deferred to Morell’s request for a “rush.”

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House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan commented:

“We knew that the rushed statement from the 51 former intelligence officials was a political maneuver between the Biden campaign and the intelligence community. Now with this interim report, we reveal how officials at the highest levels of the CIA were aware of the statement and CIA employees knew that several of the so-called former officials were on active contract with the CIA. The report underscores the risks posed by a weaponized federal government.” 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: As this is a developing story, only the top-line information put out by the committee is provided here. Further reporting and analysis will follow. The full report can be read below.)

2024-06-25 the Intelligence… by Jennifer Van Laar

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