The Biden campaign received a version of the notorious "Russian disinformation" letter before it was published on the eve of the 2020 election, according to a damning report from House Republicans.
Dozens of former spies notoriously signed the letter with absolutely no evidence to support their claim that Hunter Biden's laptop was part of a Russian intelligence operation.
The new report from House Republicans describes in detail how the Biden campaign conspired with former CIA officials to prepare a "talking point" before the final presidential debate.
The Biden campaign was involved at every step of the process. The intelligence side of the effort was led by Michael Morell, an ex-CIA director from the Obama administration, who admitted the effort was "triggered" by outreach from Antony Blinken, who now serves as Biden's Secretary of State.
In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, Morell admitted that he devised the letter because he wanted Trump to lose the election.
Morell openly stated in an e-mail soliciting signatures that he wanted to give Biden "a talking point to use in” the final presidential debate “because we think Trump will attack Biden on the issue." He wrote in another e-mail, "the campaign will be thrilled" and "the more former intelligence officials the better."
After the debate, in which Biden cited the phony letter, Morell received a phone call from Biden's campaign chairman thanking him. The letter's signers were also euphoric, with Morell waxing pompously bout their heroic act to save "democracy" by misleading voters.
"We all, of course, took an oath to 'preserve, protect, and defend' the Constitution. I think all of you did that yesterday by signing this letter," he wrote.
Morell had tasked a former CIA staffer of his, Nick Shapiro, with pushing the letter to the media. Shapiro also reached out to Biden's Rapid Response director Andrew Bates, writing, "This is what I gave them."
Shapiro's pitch to the press unabashedly flaunted the authority of the letter's signers, whom he described as "a large group of former career intelligence officers, many specializing in Russia" who "want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering."
Morell told Shapiro that "between us," the Biden campaign wanted the Washington Post to get the story first. The letter was ultimately published by Politico. When the letter was finally published, Bates pretended that he was hearing of it for the first time.
"Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say," Bates tweeted, with a link to the Politico piece.
While it has been widely reported that 51 former intelligence officials signed the letter, a former CIA official named David Cariens testified that his involvement was solicited by a serving CIA employee.