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People of a certain age will remember the name “Donald Segretti.”

In the 1972 re-election campaign of President Richard Nixon, this youthful campaign aide made the phrase “dirty tricks” part of the American political lexicon.

Segretti’s mischief included sending embarrassing letters under the names of Nixon’s political rivals.

Although his dirty tricks had little or no effect on the election’s outcome, Segretti served four and a half months in prison.

With Segretti’s four and a half months as a baseline, the 51-plus dirty tricksters who conspired successfully to get Joe Biden elected president in 2020 would seem to deserve no less.

Confident to a fault about the Democrat control of the media, 51 intel officials signed on to the most flagrant disinformation campaign in anyone’s memory.

“I think there needs to be an investigation into every single one of them,” said Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), and that investigation deserves a special counsel.

More deserving of prison time than the 51 were the Biden apparatchiks who set the plot in motion.

On October 14, 2020, when they saw the New York Post headline “Smoking-Gun Email Reveals How Hunter Biden Introduced Ukrainian Businessman to VP Dad,” they were ready to roll.

They had known since December 2019 that this story might drop.  That was when Mac Isaac alerted the FBI to a laptop Hunter Biden had abandoned at his computer repair shop in Delaware.

Fearing that the story might break at any time, operatives within the FBI reached out to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms well before the 2020 election and warned them of a potential Russian pre-election “hack and dump” operation.

If done with ill intent, these operatives deserve prison time as well.


On the day the Post story broke, representatives from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force met with Facebook execs.

As would later be confirmed at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, the FBI knew that the laptop was, in fact, Hunter Biden’s.

Facebook founder — and future un-indicted co-conspirator — Mark Zuckerberg did not need to have his arm twisted.

He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, had already invested $300 million, in CNN’s words, toward “enhancing access to voting in the United States.”

CNN failed to add that the Zuckerbucks enhanced access almost exclusively in Democrat districts.

With a little prodding from the FBI, Facebook promptly “deamplified” the Post story, dramatically reducing its circulation.


On the same day the story broke, the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force also leaned on Twitter.

The Twitter people needed little persuasion — some 98 percent of their political donations went to Democrats.

They were all in for Biden, and Twitter blocked not only the Post story, but also the Post itself.

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing, former disgraced FBI general counsel-turned Twitter exec James Baker was asked about his role in silencing the Post.

To virtually every salient question regarding the laptop, Baker pleaded — in vintage Watergate fashion — memory loss.

“You were entrusted with the highest level of power at Twitter, but when you were faced with the New York Post story, instead of allowing people to judge the information for themselves, you rushed to find a reason why the American people shouldn’t see it,” said committee chair James Comer.

“You did this because you were terrified of Joe Biden not winning the election in 2020.”


A May 10, 2023 report by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government filled in the details.

The plot was hatched on October 17, 2020, when Biden campaign adviser — now secretary of state — Antony Blinken contacted Michael Morell.

Morell had served as acting director of the CIA under Obama.

At Blinken’s request, Morell began assembling the draft of a statement that would dismiss this epic October surprise as more of the same old Russian disinformation.  At the very least, Blinken should resign immediately.

Morell had a motive.

He was in the running for the post of CIA director.  Needing a Biden win to secure it, Morell went to work lining up co-conspirators.

“Thereafter,” reads the subcommittee report, “Morell contacted several former intelligence officials to help write the statement, solicit cosigners, and help with media outreach.”

On October 19, Morell emailed Nick Shapiro, his former deputy chief of staff, asking him to place the statement in major publications.

“On background,” Shapiro was to tell reporters that Morell, in talking to Russian intel experts, “was struck by the fact that all of them thought Russia is involved here.”

In truth, Morell had talked to no Russian intel experts before organizing the draft.


Politico bit first, running a story on October 19 under the bold headline “Hunter Biden Story Is Russian Disinfo, Dozens of Former Intel Officials Say.”

As Morell testified to the House subcommittee, one major purpose of the statement was “to help Vice President Biden in the debate.”

In an October 19, 2020 email, Morell told former CIA director John Brennan he wanted to “give the [Biden] campaign, particularly during the debate on Thursday, a talking point to push back on Trump on this issue.”

During the October 23 debate, when Trump played the laptop card, Biden countered with the Russia card as planned.

“Look, there are fifty former National Intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan,” said a well-rehearsed Biden.

“They have said that this has all the characteristics — four — five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage.  Nobody believes it except him, his, and his good friend Rudy Giuliani.”


In an estimate more conservative than many, Trump pollster John McLaughlin found that 4.6 percent of Biden voters would not have voted for Biden if they had known about the contents of Hunter’s laptop.

Even if those people had simply not voted, their absence at the polls would have handed several swing states to Trump.

Kept purposefully in the dark, too many Americans chose to believe Biden and his co-conspirators.

“On November 3, 2020, the American people went to the polls to elect the president of the United States with the false impression that Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation,” the House subcommittee concluded three years too late.  “The American people cannot get back the 2020 election.”

They cannot get the election back, but they can get justice.

If prison seems an extreme remedy for the conspirators, it pays to remember that 40 government officials were indicted or imprisoned for Watergate.


Jack Cashill writes for American Thinker.