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Congress Demands Cooperation from Secretary Blinken in Hunter Biden Laptop Investigation

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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.”

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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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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