FEC complaint alleges coordinated disinformation campaign from Biden’s 2020 run
A alleged violation of campaign finance could catch Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and 51 former senior intelligence officers who claimed without evidence that the Hunter Biden laptop contained Russian disinformation in 2020.
America First Legal is a conservative group run by Stephen Miller, former Donald Trump White House adviser. In late October, the organization filed a complaint at the Federal Election Commission, alleging “coordinated communications” and unreported contributions in kind to the Joe Biden Presidential campaign and other entities in violation of federal laws.
The 13-page AFL complaint with 110 pages of supporting evidence states that “[the] evidence suggests that respondents failed to disclose coordinated expenses constituting in-kind contributions with respect to the infamous “Letter of 51” former intelligence officials who claimed that the Hunter Biden Laptop story had “all the classic hallmarks” of Russian disinformation.”
The FEC complaint alleges that the Biden 2020 campaign, the Biden Victory fund, the Democratic National Committee and the Biden action Fund all should have provided information on their coordination efforts.
The “Letter of 51”, released by the United States Senate on October 19, 2020, was published just weeks before the November 8th presidential election between Biden (Biden) and Trump (Trump).
Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta were among the Obama administration officials to sign. Michael Hayden, the former George W. Bush Director of National Intelligence and a vocal Trump critic signed.
The complaint states that Panetta, Clapper and Biden donated money to the Biden Victory fund and Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Michael Morrell, the former CIA Deputy Director and Acting director, testified in March to the House Judiciary Committee as well as the House Intelligence Committees, that Blinken, the then Biden campaign adviser, contacted him on October 17, 2020 to discuss the Hunter Biden Laptop story, first reported by The New York Post.
The complaint cited a statement made by the House Judiciary Committee in April that summarized Morrell’s testimony.
The House Judiciary Committee’s press release of April stated that “Morell confirmed that his conversation with Blinken is one of only a few he has had with the Biden Campaign, explaining that Steve Ricchetti was the Chairman of the Biden Campaign who called him after the debate on October 22, to thank him for drafting the statement.” “Morell explained that the Biden Campaign helped strategize the public release.” Morell explained that he released the statement to aid then-[former] vice president Biden in the discussion and to assist him to win the election.
The New York Post broke the story of the Hunter Biden Laptop first, and the letter from the intelligence officials gave social media giants like Facebook and Twitter cover and credibility to limit the distribution and access. The authenticity of the Hunter Biden Laptop was eventually verified by both the New York Times as well as the Washington Post. Biden also referred to the story of the laptop during the first presidential discussion between Trump and Biden.
The complaint filed with the FEC states that “there are reasons to suspect that the public statements by 51 former Intelligence officials were a coordinated campaign to elect Vice President Biden at the 2020 Presidential Election, as described below.”
Reed D. Rubinstein is senior counsel and director of supervision and investigations at America First Legal.
Rubinstein stated that “in 2016, high-ranking federal officials interfered with a presidential vote, lying about Russia’s collusion to try and elect Hilary Clinton.”
Rubenstein added, “In 2020, these officials will again try to influence a presidential race by lying about Hunter Biden.” “The Federal Election Commission is charged with ensuring election integrity. Americans have a right to know who coordinates with federal candidates. This right is only effective if it’s enforced by the appropriate agency. “The FEC must take action here.”
The Democratic National Committee nor the Biden 2020 presidential campaign did not respond to questions for this article.
Fox News also asked about Blinken and the State Department did not answer.
The complaint claims that the “51 Former Intelligence Officials” statement was part a carefully orchestrated attempt to influence the 2020 elections. AFL claimed that the Biden campaign actively participated in the drafting and dissemination of the statement through key individuals. The complaint claims that the public statement of 51 former intelligence officials was carefully crafted in order to discredit the Hunter Biden Laptop story with the intention of aiding Joe Biden’s campaign.
The complaint details communications between Morell and Blinken, then Biden’s campaign advisor at the time. They discussed the Hunter Biden laptop. Blinken, for his part has denied any involvement.
The complaint states that “there is reason to suspect that the respondents failed not to report the above contributions and to identify who made them.”
The complaint alleges, as well, that the disinformation should be considered “coordinated communications” under FEC rules and subject to reporting obligations.
The AFL complaint asserts that the Biden Campaign actively participated in the drafting and dissemination of the statement. They used the credentials of former intelligence officials for downplaying the Hunter Biden Laptop revelations.
The complaint also refers to a survey which found that almost four out of five Americans, who were following the Hunter Biden Laptop Scandal, believed that honest news coverage could have changed the result of the election. Technometric Institute of Policy and Politics released the survey in August 2022.