Judicial Watch Sues CIA Over Letter Used in Hunter Biden Cover-Up Just Weeks Before 2020 Election

Conservative nonpartisan government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit this week against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) over the cover-up of reporting about the Hunter Biden laptop story in the final few weeks before the 2020 election

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In an announcement of the lawsuit released Thursday, Judicial Watch wrote:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA for all communications of the spy agency’s Prepublication Classification Review Board (PCRB) regarding an October 19, 2020, email request to review and “clear” a letter signed by 51 former intelligence community officials characterizing the Hunter Biden laptop story as having “all the earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign” (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency (No. 1:23-cv-01844)).

In October 2020, in the run-up to the presidential election, the New York Post reported that Hunter Biden’s laptopwhich was abandoned at a Delaware computer shop, contained embarrassing and possibly incriminating information about the Biden family. 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.

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It continued, with the group explaining the reason for filing the suit now:

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the CIA failed to respond to a May 11, 2023, FOIA request for:

Records and communications of the Prepublication Classification Review Board, Central Intelligence Agency, including emails, email chains, email attachments, text messages, cables, voice recordings, correspondence, statements, letters, memoranda, reports, presentations, notes, or other form of record, regarding an October 19, 2020, email request to review and “clear” a letter involving the Hunter Biden laptop story potentially having Russian involvement or being a Russian disinformation plot.

The group also wrote it found concerning what "House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Michael R. Turner had written in a May 16, 2023, letter to CIA Director William Burns"---as part of their oversight into the letter:

The Committees have received evidence that the CIA, or at least an employee of the CIA, may have helped to solicit signatories for the statement about Hunter Biden. According to former CIA employee David Cariens, he spoke with the PCRB in October 2020 regarding the review of his memoir and during that call a CIA employee “asked” him if he would sign the statement. As Cariens explained:

When the person in charge of reviewing the book called to say it was approved with no changes, I was told about the draft letter. The person asked me if I would be willing to sign. . . . After hearing the letter’s contents, and the qualifiers in it such as, “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement . . .’ I agreed to sign.

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Judicial Watch wrote that "[i]f accurate, this information raises fundamental concerns about the role of the CIA in helping to falsely discredit allegations about the Biden family in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election." 

As this is a developing story, RedState will bring you further details as they become available.

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