WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee launched an inquiry Wednesday into the US intelligence community’s interactions with Congress in 2020 about corruption claims involving President Biden and his family — saying the nation’s spies may have obstructed the work of Congress by portraying the allegations as Russian disinformation.Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines demanding details about an Aug. 6, 2020, “defensive briefing” given to two Republican senators who were finishing a report on alleged Biden family influence peddling in countries such as China and Ukraine.Jordan, one of the leaders of the House GOP impeachment inquiry into Biden’s role in his family’s dealings, is also demanding details about interactions that summer with Democrats, including then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who cast doubt on the reliability of evidence about the Biden family’s dealings.“The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government are investigating allegations that the U.S. Intelligence Community obstructed a congressional inquiry in 2020 by falsely alleging that the work of two U.S. Senators was advancing Russian ‘disinformation,'” Jordan wrote to Haines.Two FBI officials gave the defensive briefing — a term for briefings that warn potential targets of foreign intelligence operations — to Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) even though the senators later said it was “unnecessary” and “consisted primarily of information that [the senators] already knew.”The defensive briefing, Johnson and Grassley fumed in a later statement, “provided the Democrats and liberal media the vehicle to spread their false narrative that our work advanced Russian disinformation.”FBI official Nikki Floris, who now leads the Washington Field Office’s Intelligence Division, said that she and another FBI official gave the briefing in 2020 at the behest of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.“ODNI owns this whole process,” Floris told the Judiciary Committee in a July deposition, Jordan relayed to Haines. “ODNI took the lead … in drafting the script.”The national intelligence director at the time, John Ratcliffe, was a close ally of then-President Donald Trump, but Trump and his allies have long accused some career staffers in federal intelligence agencies of being part of a “Deep State” that opposed Trump and favored Biden.Jordan’s letter to Haines seeks “[t]he script, including all drafts of the script, that ODNI prepared for the FBI to brief Senators Grassley and Johnson on August 6, 2020.”It also seeks “[a]ll documents and communications referring or relating to the July 13, 2020, letter from then-[Senate] Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Mark Warner, then-[House] Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Adam Schiff to the FBI which included a classified attachment with an unclassified element that attempted to tie Senator Grassley and Johnson’s investigation to foreign disinformation.”That letter was used to portray the Johnson-Grassley investigation as receiving information from a pro-Russian figure in Ukraine, even though the senators said that wasn’t true.Haines’ office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.The report from Grassley and Johnson, who led the Senate Finance and Homeland Security Committees at the time, respectively, contained major bombshells — including revealing that former Moscow first lady Yelena Baturina transferred $3.5 million to a bank account linked to Biden’s son Hunter in 2014.Later reporting revealed that while vice president, Biden dined at least once in Washington with Baturina and with his son’s associates from Kazakhstan and Ukraine, despite publicly denying ever even discussing business with his relatives.The Grassley-Johnson report in September 2020 set in motion the publication of The Post’s scoops the following month on documents from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop that linked Joe Biden to his family’s business dealings.Those revelations included evidence Joe Biden met with an executive from Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which paid Hunter up to $1 million per year as his dad held the Obama administration’s Ukraine portfolio, as well as communications showing Joe Biden, referred to as the “big guy,” was penciled in for a 10% cut from a Chinese government-linked venture.Biden denied the accuracy of the laptop reporting — brandishing a letter signed by 51 former spy agency leaders that raised the prospect of Russian disinformation — but the details have since been confirmed by other news outlets. An earlier House Judiciary Committee investigation into the intelligence community letter revealed that it was inspired by a call from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who at the time worked for the Biden campaign, to former CIA acting director and letter drafter Michael Morell. The Senate report at the center of the latest Judiciary Committee inquiry remains highly cited, including passages that refer to the transfer of $5.1 million to Biden-linked accounts from CEFC China Energy in the summer of 2017. A recently released text message shows that Hunter Biden threatened a Chinese businessman with his father’s wrath less than two weeks before those funds flowed.
01 Kasım 2023 - 20:00
Republicans launch probe of spy ‘script’ casting Biden allegations as disinfo in 2020
The House Judiciary Committee launched an inquiry Wednesday into the US intelligence community’s interactions with Congress in 2020 about corruption claims involving President Biden and his f…
01 Kasım 2023 - 20:00