‘Didn’t get the memo’? Former intel officials sign letter in support of Russian disinfo claim after Ratcliffe disputes

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A letter signed by more than 50 “former senior intelligence officials” supports a previously refuted claim that incriminating emails discovered on a laptop once belonging to Hunter Biden “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter, which was signed on Monday, comes in response to reports last week from the New York Post linking Joe and Hunter Biden to business dealings in Ukraine, China, and elsewhere.

The paper said that emails contained on a laptop Hunter Biden left at a Delaware computer repair shop last year allegedly contained evidence of corruption and collusion between his father and Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.

The Post reported that it was given a copy of the laptop’s hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The signers of the letter provided no evidence for their beliefs other than indicating their experience with national security issues made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.”

“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this,” the group wrote.

The letter was provided to Politico on Monday by Nick Shapiro, a former top official under Obama CIA Director John Brennan, who has been credibly accused of burying evidence that Moscow actually preferred Hillary Clinton, not Trump, in the 2016 election.

But the letter, and Politico’s publication of it, come several hours after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said the U.S. intelligence community has no evidence linking Russia to Hunter Biden’s laptop.

“Looks like ‘former senior intelligence officials’ didn’t get the memo,” journalist Drew Holder wrote on Twitter.

In an interview with Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria,” early Monday, Ratcliffe told host Maria Bartiromo that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and others pushing the Russian disinformation campaign theory were wrong.

“Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff or any member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” he said.

“Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” Ratcliffe said, adding again that “this is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”

Reports have said that the FBI is conducting an investigation into whether there is a Russian connection to the laptop, but Ratcliffe would only confirm that the bureau has it.

“Without commenting on any investigation that they may or may not have, their investigation is not centered around Russian disinformation and the intelligence community is not playing any role with respect to that,” he said.

The FBI reportedly obtained the laptop in December from the owner of the Delaware computer repair shop. And while the bureau may be investigating potential Russian links, there have been no reports the FBI is investigating any of the allegations of wrongdoing suggested by emails and other evidence supposedly contained on the laptop.

In a letter Saturday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, asked for an update regarding the status of the Hunter Biden laptop.

“The committee must know whether the FBI has assessed the validity of materials the whistleblower has provided, and what, if any, actions the FBI has taken since obtaining this information,” he wrote.

He said the shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, contacted his committee last month and “informed my staff that he had possession of a laptop left in his business by Hunter Biden.” He said staffers for the committee met with Isaac on Oct. 5.

“He also informed us that he provided its contents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in response to a December 9, 2019 grand jury subpoena,” Johnson continued.

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Jon Dougherty

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