Biden’s controversial DHS ‘experts’ panel shuttered after being slapped with lawsuit

: The Biden administration has agreed to wind down a controversial intelligence ‘experts’ group, as it faced a lawsuit from a conservative legal nonprofit arguing that it was in violation of federal law.

The Homeland Intelligence Experts Group was announced by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in September. The group was a collection of figures from the private sector to provide perspectives on the government’s intelligence and national security efforts.

‘The security of the American people depends on our capacity to collect, generate, and disseminate actionable intelligence to our federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, campus, and private sector partners,’ Mayorkas said in a statement. 

But critics have said that the board was not a neutral body and was instead a partisan body. Critics highlighted former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan as two of the figures they saw as objectionable due to their signing on to a letter questioning the veracity of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

America First Legal, which filed the lawsuit, found that of all the political contributions of those named to the group, just 1% went to Republicans, while 98% went to Democrats.

Multiple Republican lawmakers had sent a letter to Mayorkas demanding that the appointments of ‘known purveyors of disinformation’ be withdrawn. AFL, also representing itself and former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, sued DHS in November.

The lawsuit alleged that the alleged bias violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, citing alleged lack of balance, a lack of public notice and inappropriate influence by the Biden administration.

According to a joint notice and stipulation of dismissal, DHS ‘maintains its position that the establishment and operation of the Experts Group did not violate the FACA’ but agreed to wind the group down.

‘The Experts Group shall be wound down within thirty (30) days of the entry of the Order, it will not hold any future meetings, and the Department will not reconstitute the Experts Group inconsistent with the FACA or the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The Department will also provide the Experts Group meeting agendas and meeting minutes with participant identifying information redacted within fifteen (15) days of the entry of the Order,’ it said.

AFL in turn agreed to dismiss the lawsuit. DHS also reserves the right to create an advisory committee under the FACA provisions. The conservative plaintiffs hailed the agreement as a win.

‘Thanks to the courage of Ric Grenell in standing up to the Deep State, we have just achieved an unqualified legal victory over Mayorkas and Biden,’ Stephen Miller, President of America First Legal and a former senior Trump White House advisor said in a statement.

‘As a result of our lawsuit in federal court, DHS is surrendering in total to our demands: they are closing down their new partisan intelligence board featuring Clapper and Brennan — which would have been used to promote censored, unethical spying, and gross civil rights invasions of political enemies — and they are surrendering their documents, handing them over to our possession. We won. We beat Biden and DHS,’ he said.

Grenell said that DHS ‘surrendered’ because ‘they knew the America First Legal team was right, and Biden’s team broke the law.’

DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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