A lawsuit filed by the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch is seeking CIA records relating to an infamous letter that claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop contained “Russian disinformation” prior to the 2020 election. The now thoroughly debunked letter was signed by 51 former intelligence officials and had major effects on the election, polling has shown.
The Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, which was filed this past Thursday, is seeking all records and communications relating to the agency’s Prepublication Classification Review Board regarding an Oct. 19, 2020, email circulated by former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell. On April 20, Morrell said that the Biden campaign pressured him to “help Biden” by organizing the group of 51 intelligence officers to sign a letter labelling the Hunter Biden laptop as “Russian disinformation.”
In sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Morell later identified current Secretary of State Anthony Blinken as the official who asked him to circulate the letter.
Morell wrote to the review board — which is tasked with reviewing materials compiled by current or former CIA personnel for classified information — and asked them to “clear” the letter, which claimed that the New York Post’s story on the laptop contained “all the earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.”
“In a May 10, 2023, report the House Judiciary Committee revealed that on October 19, 2020, three days before the second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden, then-Acting CIA Director Michael Morell sent the PCRB the finalized letter for review, calling it a ‘rush job,’ and quickly secured its approval,” Judicial Watch wrote in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
The watchdog group added that the lawsuit was filed after the CIA failed to comply with a FOIA request on May 11, which requested the records. Requested documents include “emails, email chains, email attachments, text messages, cables, voice recordings, correspondence, statements, letters, memoranda, reports, presentations, notes, or other form of record,” in relation to Morrell’s email request.
Morell — who was once viewed as a potential candidate for full-time CIA Director — said he followed through with Blinken’s request to “help Vice President Biden … because I wanted him to win the election.”