One of the signatories of the now-discredited open letter attempting to discredit the findings from the Hunter Biden laptop made a stunning admission more than two years after it surfaced in the public eye.
Douglas Wise, a former Defense Intelligence Agency deputy director and former senior CIA operations officer, was among the over 50 former intel officials who claimed that the content of the laptop first reported by the New York Post in October 2020 “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
But in an interview with The Australian published Sunday, Wise now admits most of what was found in the reported emails had to be based in reality.
“All of us figured that a significant portion of that content had to be real to make any Russian disinformation credible,” Wise told The Australian.
According to The Australian, Wise had no regrets signing onto the letter and said it was “no surprise” that the emails were genuine.
The open letter, first published by Politico, was widely cited by Democrats and members of the legacy media to downplay the findings from Hunter Biden’s laptop, which was largely being taken seriously solely in conservative media.
“We are all individuals who devoted significant portions of our lives to national security… We are all also individuals who see Russia as one of our nation’s primary adversaries,” the ex-intel officials began. “All of us have an understanding of the wide range of Russian overt and covert activities that undermine US national security, with some of us knowing Russian behavior intimately, as we worked to defend our nation against it for a career… Perhaps most important, each of us believes deeply that American citizens should determine the outcome of elections, not foreign governments.”
“It is for all these reasons that we write to say that the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” they wrote.
At the end of their letter, which was published just days after the New York Post first published its bombshell reporting, the ex-intel officials acknowledged “we do not know whether these press reports are accurate.”
Among the signatories were outspoken Trump critics John Brennan, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Jeremy Bash, many of whom can be often found on MSNBC and CNN.
Politico, which first reported on the open letter, was also the first legacy media outlet to verify the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop in September 2021.
In 2022, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, CNN and CBS News followed suit and verified the laptop, which they all dismissed during the 2020 presidential election.
Many of former President Trump’s defenders allege the media and Big Tech’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story was enough to sway the election in favor of his father.