Democrats: Foreign plot to damage Joe Biden
Top congressional Democrats are sounding the alarm about a series of packets mailed to prominent allies of President Donald Trump — material they say is part of a foreign disinformation plot to damage former vice president Joe Biden, according to new details from a letter the lawmakers delivered to the FBI last week.
The packets, described to POLITICO by two people who have seen the classified portion of the Democrats’ letter, were sent late last year to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and then-White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
The packets were sent amid a Democratic push to impeach Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine's president to investigate Biden and his son Hunter the sources said.
Graham and Grassley denied having received the material, and Mulvaney and Nunes declined repeated requests for comment. One person familiar with the matter said the information was not turned over to the FBI. The FBI did not return a request for comment.
The letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray — authored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees — also included a public request that the bureau brief all lawmakers.
It came amid increasingly vocal warnings from Democrats, including from Biden’s presidential campaign, about foreign interference in the 2020 race and fear of another Kremlin-led effort to boost Trump’s reelection prospects.
Republicans were not asked to join the Democrats’ push for a briefing and they have since rejected it as a partisan effort.
The classified addendum to the public version of the letter included intelligence material that “draws, in large part, from the executive branch’s own reporting and analysis,” according to a congressional official.
The packets, the sources said, were sent by Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who met with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Kyiv last December to discuss investigating the Biden family.
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