Monday 1 July 2024

John Ratcliffe Calls For ‘Deeper Investigation’ Into Hunter Biden Letter After CIA Contractor Revelation

 A “deeper investigation” is needed for looking into the infamous letterused to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story weeks before the 2020 presidential election as crimes may have been committed, a top official from the Trump administration said on Sunday.

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, who was joined by former House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), spoke to “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo on Fox News about the revelation last week that some of the former  officials who signed the letter were on the CIA‘s payroll at the time.

“The CIA is supposed to be apolitical and is charged by law under the Hatch Act and other restrictions from engaging in political activity,” he said. “What made this letter OK from one perspective early on was all of the assertions that these were former officials acting in their private capacity.”

Ratcliffe continued, “Now the CIA has admitted, and there’s testimony here, that at least some of these individuals were under contract with the CIA, which means Hatch Act violations and perhaps more serious criminal violations under Title 18 for election interference.”

House investigators found that two of the 51 signatories — former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell and former CIA Inspector General David Buckley — were actively working for the CIA as contractors when the statement was published.

The “revelation raises concerns that these officials may have abused their positions to expedite the statement’s approval and may have been earning taxpayer dollars while they did it,” the Weaponization of the Federal Government panel said in a report.

In response to the findings, a CIA spokesperson insisted that the former officials were “not speaking for” the agency. And the report noted that Hatch Act political restrictions do not apply to contractors in the same way they do to CIA employees, though it proposed that lawmakers consider whether to extend the prohibition to contractors.

Ratcliffe said the House “has done some good work here” but added that the laptop controversy “really requires a deeper investigation, one that the Biden administration won’t undertake.” He went on to suggest his former boss, Donald Trump, could make that happen if he wins a second term in November.

“What has to happen here, Maria, is that when President Trump is sworn into office, a new CIA director, a new CIA inspector general, and a new attorney general for a Trump administration need a deeper investigation and potential criminal referrals here,” he explained.

“And the other thing I would say is, regardless of how all of this plays out, all of those former officials and current officials that were involved in orchestrating this should be irrevocably and permanently stripped of any security clearances or affiliation with the intelligence community,” Ratcliffe said.

He added, “Look, you know, Maria, that we have what’s called a debarment list where we put companies and individuals that defraud the government on a list and say, ‘You’re a bad actor, you can’t be affiliated or do business with the government anymore.’ That needs to take place with these officials so this kind of political interference can’t occur anymore.”

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