Former spies who put their thumbs on the scale for Joe Biden are ready to talk to House Republicans investigators about their notorious letter casting doubt on the Hunter Biden laptop only weeks before the 2020 election.
A lawyer for some of the ex-spies who signed the “Russian disinformation” letter said his clients will cooperate with a congressional probe being led by Republicans Jim Jordan (OH) and Mike Turner (OH).
Mark Zaid, a lawyer who represented the Ukraine “whistleblower” during the first Trump impeachment saga, told the Washington Examiner, “we intend to fully cooperate, but we will not do so silently.”
In a sharply worded letter to Jordan and Turner, Zaid said his clients would produce records pertaining to the drafting of the letter, although he hedged that some information may be “classified.”
Turning on Biden
Zaid attacked the Republicans’ “partisan” probe and described his clients’ letter as “non-partisan,” claiming the authors relied on “decades of professional training and expertise.”
He asserted that most of his clients “played no substantive role” in crafting the letter beyond adding their names, and he blamed journalists and politicians for misrepresenting the letter’s explosive claims, which he said contained no “conclusions” about the laptop.
“The Statement was very carefully crafted by former intelligence officers who served in the very highest positions within the Intelligence Community,” Zaid said.
While the letter’s signers have since become strangely diffident about their vaunted expertise, that wasn’t the case in October of 2020.
At the time, they apparently felt comfortable sharing a baseless hunch that a major news story about a then-presidential candidate was fake. Joe Biden even cited the spies’ letter to dismiss the laptop scandal as “garbage” during a presidential debate.
Thumbs on the scale
The letter achieved its apparent purpose by keeping stories about Hunter Biden out of the media until Election Day. It’s hard to imagine the signers didn’t anticipate that outcome.
Lawyers for former President Trump have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking the letter to be retroactively marked down as an in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign, given the significant impact it had on media coverage on the eve of the 2020 election.
The spies “made contributions of an item of value” by “calling upon the collective weight and experience of their federal employment” to put forward “irresponsible and intentionally inflammatory statements,” Trump’s lawyers said.
“These statements included claims that the emails had ‘all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation’ … although they did not know if the emails were genuine or not, nor did they have evidence of Russian involvement.”
Trump’s team also alleged that “the speed with which this letter was written, and the number of Individual Respondents involved” suggests the Biden campaign had a secret role in coordinating the letter.