A CIA whistleblower alerted Congress to what he said was “a significant monetary incentive to change their position…”
The Heritage Foundation has sued the CIA for records related to allegations that the agency’s COVID Discovery Team received ‘monetary incentives‘ (bribes) to change their position on the origins of the virus, and refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Daily Caller reports.
Heritage’s Oversight Project filed a lawsuit Friday against the CIA after the agency did not comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records connected to its team tasked with investigating the lab leak theory, which posits that COVID-19 was created in and escaped from a laboratory rather than being transmitted to humans by animals.
“This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act (‘FOIA’), 5 U.S.C. § 552, to compel production of CIA records relating to allegations that members of the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team, a group of employees tasked with analyzing the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, received monetary incentives to change their position on the origins of the virus,” reads the lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit seeks to compel the CIA to produce all non-exempt records under Heritage’s original FOIA requests, and to cover costs incurred by the foundation.
The Herigage Foundation Oversight Project is a government accountability watchdog created by the conservative think tank. In September, they began looking into the alleged bribes after a current CIA officer-turned whistleblower alerted Congress to what he said was “a significant monetary incentive to change their position” – telling House committee leaders that his agency ‘ tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans,’ according to a the committees.
“According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” reads a letter from the House panel chairmen.
“The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis.
Heritage’s original FOIA request sought records from the creation of the CIA’s discovery team, as well as all records shared among team members associated with the COVID-19 origins investigation – which is to include any financial bonuses and communications between discovery team members and people from various other government agencies.
According to assessments by the FBI and Department of Energy, COVID-19 most likely came from a lab in Wuhan, China, where bat coronaviruses were being manipulated using US grant funding.
In July, the House COVID subcommittee published a report accusing former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci of staging a cover-up campaign over lab leak theory.
New evidence released in March by the subcommittee indicates Fauci was behind an influential paper designed to discredit lab leak proponents. The CIA also brought Fauci into its headquarters to “influence” its lab leak investigation without keeping records of Fauci’s entry, the subcommittee alleged in September. -Daily Caller
Fauci will testify in January regarding the US response to COVID-19.