The FBI had confirmed the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop in November 2019, almost a full year before the New York Post article on the laptop was published and censored and painted as Russian disinformation, according to testimony revealed Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee.
Chair of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray sharing testimony from Laura Dehmlow, Section Chief of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF).
In her testimony, Dehmlow revealed that the same FBI personnel that were warning social media companies of a potential Russian hacking and leaking operation prior to the 2020 election knew that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not Russian disinformation.
Despite knowing of the laptop’s authenticity, when the New York Post broke the Hunter laptop story, the FBI refused to answer direct questions from social media companies about the laptop’s authenticity.
Following its publication, Twitter blocked the Post’s story from being shared and Facebook deamplified the story, significantly reducing its reach — which Rep. Jordan claims “prevented millions of Americans from having a clear understanding about a salient issue in the 2020 presidential election.”
Rep. Jordan’s letter states that the FBI met with social media platforms over 30 times in the nine months leading up to the 2020 election — FBI representatives from the FITF met at least five times with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, in addition to meetings with Twitter and Reddit.
On Oct. 7, 2020, just one week before the New York Post article was published, the FBI held a meeting that explicitly listed “Hack/Leak Concerns” on the agenda as an item of discussion.
Dehmlow also testified that former FITF Section Chief Bradley Benavides, as well as members of FITF’s Russia Unit, knew that the Hunter Biden laptop was real on Oct. 14, 2020 — the same day the story was published.
Below is an excerpt from the Judiciary Committee’s interview with Dehmlow:
Q: Are you familiar with the October 2020 New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop?
A: I am.
Q: Do you recall whether any of these social media companies you were meeting with asked you any questions about it?
A: I do.
Q: And what is your recollection? Who —
A: So, I remember having a conversation with or being involved in a
conversation with Twitter, and I honestly can’t recall if this was repeated
to me – I might have been a few minutes late to the meeting – or if – or if I was – I actually overheard it. But it was – it was relayed to me later that somebody from Twitter – I don’t recall who. I’m not sure who. Somebody from Twitter essentially asked whether the laptop was real. And one of the FBI folks who was on the call did confirm that, “yes, it was,” before another participant jumped in and said, “no further
This testimony excerpt shows that on the same day the Post story was published, an FITF analyst began to tell Twitter that the laptop was real, when an FBI lawyer interrupted to say “no further comment.”
Rep. Jordan writes in his letter to FBI Director Wray that the FBI deliberated internally following a meeting with Twitter about what information the bureau would share with social media companies in upcoming meetings.
The decision was then made that the FITF would say “no comment” in relation to the laptop story going forward.
Jordan then requested information be provided to the Judiciary Committee from the FBI, including the names of FITF officials involved in communications with social media companies, and and all documents and communications related to their meetings.
The testimony offers some of the strongest evidence yet that the FBI conspired with social media companies to suppress accurate news reporting because it might have helped Republican President Donald Trump win re-election.