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September 02, 2020

Thompson, Rose Demand Documents from DHS on Withheld 2020 Campaign Interference Intelligence Report, Request Watchdog Investigation

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence & Counterterrorism, sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security – as well as the DHS Office of the Inspector General – regarding a news report suggesting DHS officials may have inappropriately withheld an Office of Intelligence and Analysis intelligence bulletin warning law enforcement partners—with “high confidence”—of Russian attempts to influence the 2020 election by denigrating former Vice President Joe Biden’s health.

This would be another example of the apparent politicization of the Office of Intelligence & Analysis, which is charged with producing and disseminating impartial intelligence and law enforcement products. In their letter to DHS, Chairs Thompson and Rose demanded the Department produce all documents related to the intelligence bulletin being withheld. 

“This is the latest in a series of actions that politically appointed Department leaders have taken to politicize the operations of the Department and skew the intelligence analysis that so many law enforcement officers across the country count on to keep Americans safe,” wrote Thompson and Rose to DHS. “It also runs counter to the mission and integrity of any intelligence organization to have its products edited or held up for review by political advisers.”

In their letter to the DHS Office of the Inspector General, Thompson and Rose request that the IG add this matter to their ongoing investigation into potential misconduct relating to the Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

To the Office of the Inspector General, Thompson and Rose wrote that the news report “not only reveals a departure from standard practice but also raises deeply troubling questions about political influence on the production and dissemination of DHS intelligence products, which must not serve any political agenda—even when the truth is damaging to the party in control of the White House.”

Link to DHS letter

Link to OIG letter

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