WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last night, Judiciary Committee Republicans released a cherrypicked “report” about the Intelligence Community, the 2020 Trump campaign, and Hunter Biden’s laptop. The “report” ignores important evidence and restates claims that have been repeatedly disproven. Chairman Jim Jordan claims that a single email from former CIA analyst and author David Cariens to Republican staff proves that the CIA approached Cariens about signing an October 19 letter about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Chairman Jordan has overpromised and underdelivered to the MAGA extremists once again. Today, House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committee Democrats released key transcripts and emails that directly refute Chairman Jordan’s claims. Those documents show:
-Michael Morell, a highly-decorated veteran of the intel community, drafted the October 19 letter because he had serious concerns about the Russians apparently once again interfering in our elections.
-Mr. Morell also testified that he was the sole person in contact with the PCRB with respect to the draft letter and produced a complete copy of his exchange with the PCRB. If others working on the letter had contacted the PCRB, he would have known.
-Mr. Morell sent the letter to the PCRB at 6:34 a.m. on October 19, 2020. He received clearance at 12:44 p.m. He did not ask the CIA for anything other than clearance, and there is no evidence to suggest that the PCRB did anything other than clear the letter in line with their normal processes.
-Mr. Morell and another witness, former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos, both explained that the PCRB tends to move quickly on short, time sensitive requests like the letter. Mr. Polymeropoulos explained that the PCRB tries to honor timing requests: “I’ve had them turn it around in several hours.”
-The Cariens email states that Mr. Cariens heard about the letter via a phone call with a PCRB. But there is substantial reason to question Mr. Cariens’ recollection of what happened, given the evidence and testimony on hand. For example, Mr. Polymeropoulos testified that, based on his “70 or 80” interactions with the PCRB, he has never known them to communicate anything via phone and said that he “would never take any kind of approval over the phone.”
-Republicans hold other evidence that cast serious doubt on their claims: former CIA officer Kristen Wood produced the email in which Mr. Cariens agreed to join the letter. Mr. Cariens received the same email as every other signatory and signed on eight minutes later. His response says nothing about the PCRB.
-Republicans are making expansive claims that CIA “promoted” the letter without hearing Cariens’ testimony or taking any steps to corroborate or refute the single email they received from the witness directly.
“Let’s call this report what it is: another blatant attempt by Jim Jordan to mislead the American people,” said Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler. “He keeps fabricating these conspiracy theories and ignoring the evidence in front of him. In defense of Donald Trump, Mr. Jordan would chill the free speech of private citizens who sought to exercise their First Amendment rights in the face of what they viewed as a likely Russian attack on our democracy. That is something that should deeply concern us all, Republicans and Democrats alike.”
“Jordan’s claim that the CIA promoted this letter is not justified by his investigation,” said HPSCI Ranking Member Jim Himes. “I’m sorry that Judiciary Committee Republicans publicized unexamined allegations on an incomplete record. HPSCI will continue to conduct effective, fact-driven oversight of the Intelligence Community.”