The House Oversight Committee chairman, Jim Jordan, intensifies demands for Secretary Anthony Blinken’s cooperation in the Hunter Biden laptop investigation, citing his key role in initiating the discrediting public statement.
In a letter Jordan sent Tuesday to Blinken, he warned “the response letter sent on your behalf did not dispute the central facts at issue that you, while serving as a senior advisor to the Biden campaign, contacted Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), about the Hunter Biden laptop story, which set in motion the events that led to the issuance of the public statement.”
James Clapper testified that former CIA Director John Brennan told him "that Tony Blinken had reached out to Michael [Morell] about putting together a public statement." pic.twitter.com/Q3nMPWZ1nQ
— Weaponization Committee (@Weaponization) June 12, 2023
The joint committees are conducting oversight on federal law enforcement and intelligence matters within their respective jurisdictions, aiming to shed light on potential wrongdoing and ensure accountability. In a letter addressed to Secretary Blinken, Jordan and republican Rep-Ohio, Michael R. Turner, expressed their concerns and reiterated their request for voluntary cooperation.
The investigation centers around a public statement signed by 51 former intelligence officials, which disputed the authenticity of a New York Post story related to Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails, labeling it as supposed Russian disinformation. The committees’ oversight has uncovered several significant facts, including Secretary Blinken’s involvement in initiating the events that led to the issuance of the public statement.
The committees’ letter points out that Secretary Blinken, while serving as a senior advisor to the Biden campaign, contacted Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director of the CIA, regarding the Hunter Biden laptop story. This contact set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the release of the public statement.
Moreover, The committee noted that Secretary Blinken’s attorney’s response did not dispute the central facts presented by the committees. These facts include Secretary Blinken emailing Mr. Morell a USA Today article containing the signature block of Andrew Bates, the Director of Rapid Response for the Biden campaign at the time. Additionally, evidence obtained by the committees suggests that the Biden campaign chairman thanked Mr. Morell for organizing the statement.
The response letter sent on behalf of Secretary Blinken mischaracterized the committees’ allegations. The committees clarified that they did not accuse Secretary Blinken of soliciting the public statement directly. Instead, they emphasized that his outreach to Mr. Morell set the events in motion, resulting in the release of the statement.
While Mr. Morell denied being asked by the Biden campaign to prepare a statement, testimonies from individuals involved suggest otherwise. Marc Polymeropoulos, who assisted Mr. Morell in preparing the statement, indicated that Mr. Morell mentioned that “someone in the kind of Biden world had asked about doing this.” Former CIA Director John Brennan also conveyed that Mr. Blinken reached out to Mr. Morell about drafting a public statement.
Congress has broad oversight powers, and the committees maintain their oversight interest in this matter to inform potential legislative reforms. The committees may consider various legislative proposals, including restrictions on the use of security clearances by federal employees after leaving government service and preventing intelligence agencies from engaging in or promoting political activities during federal elections. The requested information from Secretary Blinken is vital to inform these potential legislative reforms.
The Committee on the Judiciary and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have once again called upon Blinken to cooperate voluntarily in their oversight investigation into the public statement regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop. As the deadline approaches, the committees remain committed to ensuring transparency, accountability, and potential legislative reforms in the interest of the American people.
The use of compulsory process may be considered if the requests for cooperation are not met. The committees eagerly await Blinken’s response, which will determine the course of action moving forward.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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