A conservative foundation is suing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to obtain records concerning the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project is investigating recent claims made by a CIA whistleblower that accuse the agency of covering up the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Daily Caller, which obtained a copy of the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project’s lawsuit, the organization filed a lawsuit on Friday due to the agency refusing to grant a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records pertaining to the lab leak theory, which suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a man-made virus escaping from a lab in China.
The lawsuit states, “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.”
According to the Daily Caller, the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project’s lawsuit against the CIA includes five claims against the intelligence agency. The Daily Caller reported that the foundation’s initial FOIA request was filed to obtain the agency’s records surrounding the creation of the CIA’s discovery team, as well as information shared with its team members.
The original FOIA request by the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project also requested records of any communications between the CIA’s discovery team and other federal government officials and any financial bonuses distributed to the agency’s discovery team.
Based on the copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Daily Caller, the Heritage Foundation is asking the U.S. District Court to force the CIA to provide the Oversight project with all non-exempt records under its FOIA request and to cover the cost of the Heritage Foundation’s lawsuit.
“The Biden Administration has refused to be transparent with Congress and the American people over the origins of COVID-19,” Kyle Brosnan, chief counsel for the Oversight Project, said.
“A CIA whistleblower has made serious allegations that the agency bought off employees of the agency to further obstruct efforts to get to the truth of the virus’s origins,” Brosnan added. “This obstruction cannot stand and we’re fighting in federal court to get to the bottom of this.”
A CIA whistleblower testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in September, claiming that the CIA gave financial incentives to six CIA agents on the COVID-19 discovery team to change their perspective on whether the deadly virus was caused by a lab leak in Wuhan, China.
Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rick Scott of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wrote a letter to CIA Director William Burns in Sept., requesting information pertaining to the allegations raised by the whistleblower.
According to The Daily Caller, evidence released in March by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic suggests that Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, was involved with a scientific paper that was used to discredit lab leak theories.
Additionally, the CIA has been accused by the committee of having Fauci come to the agency’s headquarters to “influence” the investigation of a potential COVID-19 lab leak and failing to keep a record of Fauci’s visit.
Fauci is currently scheduled to appear before the House subcommittee in January for a two-day testimony, according to The Daily Caller.