A lawsuit has been filed against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by a group associated with the Heritage Foundation, The Oversight Project. The suit alleges that the CIA manipulated findings on the origins of COVID-19 through financial incentives offered to its analysts. This information comes from a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Daily Caller.
According to the Daily Caller, the lawsuit was initiated under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), aiming to force the CIA to disclose records related to its investigation into the COVID-19 origins. The suit specifically references allegations that the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team, responsible for analyzing the pandemic’s origins, was financially incentivized to alter their stance on the virus’s beginnings.
The Oversight Project’s quest for CIA records began after a whistleblower claimed before Congress that the agency offered financial rewards to its analysts to modify their conclusions regarding the virus’s origin. The CIA’s official stance on the disease’s origin remains unclear.
Contrasting assessments have been provided by various agencies. The Energy Department and the FBI suggest that a lab leak in Wuhan, China, is the most likely source of the virus. On the other hand, five other agencies believe that the virus likely spread initially from natural transmission or jumped to humans from animals via a wet market or another similar vector.
House investigators examining the origins of COVID-19 reported in September that a high-ranking CIA officer disclosed the agency’s offer of monetary rewards to its COVID investigators to change their conclusions. Republicans from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have requested additional information from the CIA regarding its inquiry.
According to the whistleblower, upon completion of the review, six out of seven members of the team believed that the available intelligence and science sufficiently supported a low-confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, stated Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who chairs the subcommittee, and Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, who chairs the Intelligence committee.
The Oversight Project’s chief counsel, Kyle Brosnan, criticized the CIA and Biden administration for withholding crucial information about the origins of COVID-19. Brosnan highlighted the gravity of the whistleblower’s allegations that the agency paid off its employees to further hinder efforts to uncover the truth behind the virus’s origins. “This obstruction cannot stand, and we’re fighting in federal court to get to the bottom of this,” Brosnan said, as per the New York Post.