A whistleblower from the CIA testified to Congress that the agency conspired to undermine its own investigative team’s assessment that the COVID-19 virus likely came from a lab leak in Wuhan, China.
The unnamed source, a senior-level CIA officer, told House committee leaders that the CIA offered financial incentives in an effort to convince six analysts on its COVID Discovery Team who endorsed the lab leak theory to change their position.
“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,” Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R., Ohio) and Mike Turner (R., Ohio), chairmen of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, respectively, said in a letter to the agency. The lawmakers demanded the CIA hand over documents and communications regarding the COVID Discovery Team.
According to the Republicans, the whistleblower said the six analysts were given a “significant monetary incentive” to change their conclusion.
Several federal agencies, including the Energy Department and FBI, have concluded with some degree of confidence that the virus emerged from a Chinese lab.
The Biden administration in July decided to pull funding from the Wuhan Institute of Virology as Republicans investigate the lab leak theory.