A former CIA chief of station revealed on Friday that he declined to sign an October 2020 letter published by Politico about Hunter Biden’s laptop because no evidence was presented to indicate that it was Russian disinformation.
“I remember I got the letter Oct. 18, 2020, and at first glance, it seemed natural to lay the blame at the Kremlin’s doorstep,” said Dan Hoffman. “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 there was no evidence. And I just felt like we needed to do the forensics.”
The letter, signed by dozens of former intelligence officials, claimed that a New York Post report on emails from a laptop supposedly abandoned by Hunter Biden “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
After revealing that he was among the group of former officials asked to sign a now-infamous letter saying Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation, Dan Hoffman explains why he didn't. pic.twitter.com/bFO5sbQhJx
— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) April 28, 2023
“There were many others who — who didn’t sign it,” Hoffman added. “Look, when I was at CIA, we would sit in Michael Morell’s office when we had a particularly difficult, challenging intelligence issue, and we would hash out all the evidence that we have, the intelligence we had and then Michael would draw analytical conclusions with some level of confidence — low, medium, or high — and bring it to the White House. We didn’t have that debate about this laptop issue. We weren’t invited to debate it.”
Twitter had locked multiple accounts, including the New York Post’s and the personal account of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for sharing the Oct 14, 2020 report, citing a “hacked materials” policy. However, documents released to journalist Michael Shellenberger by Elon Musk show that the FBI contacted Twitter about the potential for leaks involving Hunter Biden before the New York Post’s report.
Now there are serious concerns that the intelligence officials coordinated with the Biden campaign, thus committing a blatant act of “election interference.”
The House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee are now demanding documents from Secretary of State Antony Blinken related to the letter, citing testimony by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell that Blinken “triggered” the response to the Post’s story.
“New testimony by Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and one of the 51 signatories of the ‘Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails,’ revealed that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, then senior advisor to the Biden campaign, was the impetus of the public statement signed in October 2020 that falsely implied the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden was the product of Russian disinformation,” the statement said. “In response, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) just sent a letter to Secretary Blinken demanding documents and communications related to the Committees’ investigation.”
“Based on Morell’s testimony, 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,” the House Judiciary Committee members added.
“Although the statement’s signatories have an unquestioned right to free speech and free association—which we do not dispute—their reference to their national security credentials lent weight to the story and suggested access to specialized information unavailable to other Americans,” the letter added. “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.”
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.