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CIA refutes whistleblower claim pushed by Republicans leading Biden impeachment inquiry

House Republicans leading the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden were dealt their latest blow this week when the CIA informed them that an allegation they pushed was false, the latest example of House Republicans citing questionable information to make a serious claim.

Without the evidence or the votes to impeach the president, at this point there is no clear consensus on how – or even when – to end the Republican-led impeachment inquiry. This latest development comes after the Department of Justice charged a once trusted FBI informant with lying about the president and his son Hunter Biden’s involvement in business dealings, undercutting a major aspect of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into the president.

House Oversight Chair James Comer and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan accused the CIA in a letter last month of intervening in the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden by preventing IRS and DOJ investigators from interviewing a witness in their probe, based on information they say came from a whistleblower.

But the CIA has refuted that claim in a letter obtained first by CNN that was sent to Jordan and Comer.

“Without confirming or denying the existence of any associations or communications, CIA did not prevent or seek to prevent IRS or DOJ from conducting any such interview. The allegation is false,” CIA Director of Congressional Affairs James A. Catella wrote to the Republican Committee Chairs.

House Republicans are pushing back on the refutation. “The allegation is not false,” House Judiciary Committee spokesman Russell Dye told CNN. A Republican House Oversight Committee spokesperson told CNN the same thing.

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin, said Republicans have not shared where they got the evidence to make this accusation to the CIA in the first place.

“This is a serious charge, but you have completely ignored my staff’s requests to be allowed to review the information that you say prompted your letter and upon which your letter is putatively and entirely based,” Raskin wrote to Comer on Friday.

The witness who Republicans allege the CIA blocked from being interviewed is Kevin Morris, who serves as Hunter Biden’s lawyer and has previously testified that he cooperated with the criminal investigation by turning over documents and speaking with investigators.

CNN has also reached out to Morris for comment.

“I’ve made a document production in conjunction with the grand jury investigation,” Morris testified in his closed-door interview with Republicans conducting the inquiry in January.

“An FBI agent and an IRS agent showed up in my door with a subpoena in the Delaware prosecution, and we talked – we talked briefly. I don’t remember talking to the IRS guy,” he said at another point.

Republicans have raised questions about why Morris lent the president’s son millions of dollars and have sought to connect him to their impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Morris has explained the terms of the $6.5 million in loans and said they have nothing to do with the president.

Meanwhile, even one of the IRS whistleblowers who has claimed the criminal case into the president’s son deviated from normal practices also has testified that he met with Morris.

“Very briefly, at his residence, he offered to submit to an interview, but then said he wanted his lawyer very early on in that discussion,” Gary Shapley testified in December in a closed-door hearing with the House Ways & Means Committee about his meeting with Morris.

CNN’s Paula Reid contributed to this report.

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