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DHS adds to team officials who wrongly called the Hunter Biden laptop story 'Russian disinformation'

By Casey Harper
The Center Square

The Department of Homeland Security has sparked controversy by adding to its Intelligence Board multiple members who signed on to the now debunked 2020 letter saying the Hunter Biden laptop story was “Russian disinformation.”

Now, House Republicans want answers, saying the new additions bring into question the federal group’s credibility and impartiality.

“Your decision to appoint members to this group who have demonstrated political bias suggests misplaced priorities,” the letter said.

House Committee on Homeland Security Chair Mark Green, R-Tenn., and August Pfluger, R-Texas, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, sent the letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the appointees.

The appointments in question include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan, and former Associate Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice Tashina Gauhar.

The letter points out they were among the intelligence officials that influenced the last presidential election when they “incorrectly implied the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s political influence peddling was the product of Russian disinformation.”

“That statement was used by various media organizations and social media businesses to downplay and censor the Post’s reporting before the 2020 presidential election,” the letter said.

These new members were added to DHS’ new Homeland Intelligence Experts Group, which is tasked with providing advice to DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

“Another member of this newly-created group, then-Associate Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice Tashina Gauhar, was extensively involved in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into baseless allegations that former President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia,” the letter said “These are just a few notable examples of concerning actions by some of the members appointed to the group that call into question the group’s neutrality.”

The controversy comes as the border remains in crisis with millions of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. in recent years. As The Center Square reported, in the Texas town of Eagle Pass, Mayor Rolando Salinas Jr. declared a state of emergency this week as thousand of migrants have poured into his town.

So far, more than 50 counties in Texas alone have declared a state of emergency. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott officially has declared an invasion of his state citing the millions of migrants, a sentiment he reiterated earlier this week.

Other border states have had similar troubles, but it is not just an issue in border states.

New York City mayor Eric Adams has raised the alarm about his city’s difficulty in keeping up with the influx of migrants, one of several large metro areas north of the border feeling the impact of the increase in migrants.

The high number of migrants has become a political thorn in President Joe Biden’s side, and for now it seems likely to remain into the next presidential election.

“Rather than focus on addressing the catastrophic border crisis or I&A’s shortcomings to live up to its original purpose to equip the Homeland Security Enterprise, especially, our State, Local, Tribal and Territorial law enforcement partners, with timely intelligence and information, these actions appear to politicize the Department’s homeland security mission,” the letter said.

DHS did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

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