In early July the Department of Homeland Security withheld publication of an intelligence bulletin warning law enforcement agencies of a Russian scheme to promote “allegations about the poor mental health” of former Vice President Joe Biden, according to internal emails and a draft of the document obtained by ABC News.
The draft bulletin, titled “Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election,” was submitted to the agency’s legislative and public affairs office for review on July 7. The analysis was not meant for public consumption, but it was set to be distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement partners two days later, on July 9, the emails show.
Just one hour after its submission, however, a senior DHS official intervened.
“Please hold on sending this one out until you have a chance to speak to [acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf],” wrote DHS Chief of Staff John Gountanis, according to an email obtained by ABC News.
That was nearly two months ago. But the bulletin was never circulated.
In a statement to ABC News, a DHS spokesperson confirmed that the product was “delayed,” explaining that it failed to meet the agency’s standards.