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Trump’s Former Acting DHS Secretary Changed Intel Report On Russian 2020 Election Interference

Trump’s Former Acting DHS Secretary Changed Intel Report On Russian 2020 Election Interference

Former Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf changed and delayed an intelligence report detailing Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to a new review by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) top watchdog. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at DHS, through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), released the redacted results of its investigation into Russian interference in the election β€” “DHS Actions Related to an I&A Intelligence Product Deviated from Standard Procedures” β€” on Tuesday.

The decision to deviate from DHS standard review procedures “raised objectivity concerns,” according to the report, and led to the perception that intentional interference by a top DHS official was meant to help in Donald Trump’s reelection attempt.

The DHS analyst who first raised the concern “believed foreign efforts questioning a candidate’s health were worth exploring because they could impact voters’ willingness to vote for that candidate and began drafting the product,” the OIG report read. “In its initial form, the product was approximately two pages in length and included information relating to one ‘current Democratic presidential candidate’ and to Russian activities to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.”

The whistleblower, Brian Murphy, who was then principal deputy undersecretary at I&A, also alleged that Wolf ordered him to shift the focus of future assessments to interference efforts by China and Iran, and that instructions to do so had come from White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien. Murphy declined to comply, he said in the complaint, because “doing so would put the country in substantial and specific danger.” DHS’ top watchdog determined that DHS deviated from its own internal requirements for editing and disseminating the report to state and local partners.

Wolf was also behind “secret police” efforts in cities with high incidences of violence during Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. He resigned his post in January 2021, after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and several federal judges deemed that he had served illegally, a judgment that he disputes.

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