Blinken Denies Involvement in Hunter Biden Laptop Letter Despite Ex-CIA Chief’s Testimony, as GOP Investigators Give Deadline for Answers

In May 2022, experts verified the authenticity of the laptop and the emails it contained, rebutting the original claims by the letter’s signatories.

AP/Andrew Harnik, pool, file
Secretary Blinken at the U.S. Embassy Annex at Hanoi, Vietnam, April 15, 2023. AP/Andrew Harnik, pool, file

Despite testimony in mid-April from one of President Obama’s CIA directors, Secretary Blinken has denied organizing the writing and release of the now-discredited October 2020 letter decrying news stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop as “Russian disinformation.” Now, GOP congressional investigators have given the secretary a May 4 deadline to turn over information regarding how that letter came about. 

The escalating affair is again raising questions about the level of access the younger Mr. Biden, with his scant resume, had to Obama officials at the highest level when his father was vice president, including questions about why the Ukrainian energy company Burisma would have put him on its board.

In April, the former acting director of the CIA under Mr. Obama, Michael Morrell, told Congress that Mr. Blinken was the Biden presidential campaign’s liaison to former intelligence community officials, seeking signatures on a letter that attempted to discredit the release of Hunter Biden’s emails as “Russian disinformation.”

At the time in 2016, Mr. Blinken was advising the Biden campaign and eyeing the ultimate diplomat job were Mr. Biden to defeat President Trump. 

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Mr. Blinken was pressed about where the idea for the letter came from. “One of the great benefits of this job is that I don’t do politics and don’t engage in it,” he said. “But with regard to that letter, I didn’t — it wasn’t my idea, didn’t ask for it, didn’t solicit it.”

The letter — released just weeks before the 2020 presidential election — claimed that articles about Mr. Biden’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks” of Russian disinformation. It was signed by 51 former intelligence officials who held posts at the CIA, the Pentagon, and the National Security Agency, among others. 

The signatories based their claims on the fact that the story originated with Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Mayor Giuliani. They state that Mr. Giuliani’s ties to a Ukrainian businessman, Adriy Derkach, invalidated any claims of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden because Mr. Derkach “passed purported materials on Burisma and Hunter Biden to Giuliani,” referring to the energy company that had handsomely paid Mr. Biden. 

Mr. Biden’s access to his father’s official staff goes beyond the 2020 campaign, though. Mr. Blinken has been wedded to the president ever since Mr. Biden was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Blinken later went on to serve as his national security advisor and then as Mr. Obama’s deputy secretary of state.

On Tuesday, it was disclosed that Mr. Blinken and his wife, Evan Ryan, had corresponded with Mr. Biden about his involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma while Mr. Blinken was serving as the state department’s second-in-command. In July 2016, Mr. Biden had reached out to Mr. Blinken and his wife about connecting the then-deputy secretary to Blue Star Strategies, the lobbying outfit that represented Burisma in Washington. At the time, Ms. Ryan served as an assistant secretary of state under her husband. 

Ms. Ryan is now the president’s Cabinet secretary, a senior White House staff position.

Senators Johnson and Grassley have accused Mr. Blinken of perjury, saying that he lied to Congress during his confirmation hearings in 2020 when he said he had no knowledge of the younger Mr. Biden’s involvement with Burisma. 

Claiming that Mr. Biden’s laptop was a Russia disinformation plot would then make sense for Mr. Blinken and other aspirants to a Biden administration, considering how much suspicious and, at the least, embarrassing information the laptop contained. A former Moscow station chief for the CIA, Daniel Hoffman, told Fox News that he refused to sign the letter because there was “no evidence” that Russia was involved in the release of the laptop.

“It seemed natural to lay blame at the Kremlin’s doorstep,” Mr. Hoffman said. “Remember, Vladimir Putin is in the Kremlin and he’s well-known for cloak-and-dagger espionage operations. But at the same time, there was no evidence. And the letter noted that there was no evidence.”

The letter had a chilling effect during the campaign. The mainstream media did not cover the laptop story until well after Mr. Biden won the election. During the campaign season, Twitter deleted the New York Post’s laptop article from the platform, something that the company’s founder later called a “total mistake.”

Mr. Morrell’s testimony disclosed a great deal about the laptop and the Biden campaign’s desire to quash the story, according to the House Judiciary Committee. Following the testimony, the committee’s chairman, Congressman Jim Jordan, released a statement detailing the new information. 

“It is apparent that the Biden campaign played an active role in the origins of the public statement, which had the effect of helping to suppress the Hunter Biden story and preventing American citizens from making a fully informed decision during the 2020 presidential election,” Mr. Jordan wrote. Mr. Morrell told the committee that he was in contact with both Mr. Blinken and the chairman of the Biden campaign, Steve Richetti, now a senior White House advisor. He for decades has been one of Mr. Biden’s closest advisors. 

In May 2022, experts verified the authenticity of the laptop and the emails it contained, rebutting the original claims by the letter’s signatories. More than 100,000 emails were recovered from the hard drive that detailed Mr. Biden’s extensive web of financial transactions and international business operations, as well as his sordid personal affairs with alcohol, drugs, and women. 

Mr. Jordan and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Mike Turner, are seeking records and interviews from dozens of other sources who were potentially involved in suppressing the laptop story.

The New York Sun

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