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Former CIA chief behind infamous Hunter Biden laptop letter allegedly 'misled' signatories: Report

Julia Schmalz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former acting CIA Director Mike Morell allegedly "misled" signatories of the infamous letter downplaying the Hunter Biden laptop story by telling them he would clear the letter with the CIA before releasing it.

On Oct. 18, 2020, Morell sent intelligence officials an email soliciting their endorsement of the letter. According to the New York Post, he promised to "clear the statement with the Publication Review Board at CIA" the next day.

But on Oct. 19, 2020, Politico broke news of the letter, using it to claim the laptop story was "Russian disinfo."

The timeline suggests, according to the Post, that the "required pre-publication security review by the CIA, a lifelong obligation for all former agency employees," never happened because the review process can take months.

More from the Post:

[The letter] also omitted the boilerplate disclaimer required by the CIA to be included in any such intelligence assessment, which would have declared: “All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Last week, the Washington Examiner reported that the email Morell sent on Oct. 18 explicitly contained the motive for drafting the letter: to give then-presidential candidate Joe Biden a "talking point" at his next debate with Donald Trump.

More news is coming out about the letter as House Republicans investigate its origins. Last month, Morell purportedly testified under oath that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, then a senior adviser to Biden's presidential campaign, was the impetus to the letter, having planted the seed that Russia was behind the laptop story.

For his part, however, Blinken has denied any involvement in the letter.

Daniel Hoffman, a former CIA station chief, revealed to Fox News last month that Morell asked him to sign the letter. But he ultimately chose not to because he saw "no evidence" that Russia was involved, nor were the arguments of the letter subjected to routine debate and scrutiny — such as the security review that Morell allegedly promised.

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