The FBI, which had known Hunter Biden’s laptop was authentic since 2019, admitted to Twitter that it was real on the day the New York Post published its reporting on the laptop — but then switched its narrative to “no further comment” and refused to acknowledge the laptop’s veracity to any other Big Tech companies ahead of the 2020 election, according to July 17 testimony from Laura Dehmlow, the section chief of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF).
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray obtained by The Federalist, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan outlined how “Dehmlow revealed that the same FBI personnel who were warning social media companies about a potential Russian ‘hack and leak’ operation in the run-up to the 2020 election knew that the laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was not Russian disinformation.” Dehmlow also testified that previous FITF Section Chief Bradley Benavides and his subordinates who were tasked with sniffing out Russian influence “knew that Hunter Biden’s laptop was real.”
And when directly asked by Twitter employees about the laptop’s legitimacy in a meeting on the day the New York Post’s bombshell story was published, an FBI analyst confirmed the laptop’s legitimacy — before an FBI lawyer interrupted to declare the agency had “no further comment.”
“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 comment,’” Dehmlow recalled in her testimony.
Later that same day, the FBI told Facebook in a meeting that it had “no comment” on the laptop.
Even though it received quick confirmation about the laptop’s legitimacy, Twitter joined Facebook in launching a censorship campaign that affected how a substantial number of Americans voted in the 2020 election. Anyone on Twitter who tried to share the link was barred from doing so. The New York Post was punished with a suspended account that stayed locked for weeks. Facebook, similarly, reduced the story’s reach.
Despite participating in more than two dozen intricate information-sharing meetings and, as Missouri v. Biden later revealed, in censorship collusion with Silicon Valley giants in the months leading up to the 2020 election, the FBI “made the institutional decision to refuse to answer direct questions from social media companies about the laptop’s authenticity” after shutting down the analyst who initially admitted to Twitter that it was real.
Meanwhile, around the time the Post story dropped, the FBI was one of the key agencies — aided by corporate media and the Biden campaign — that primed Big Tech to believe that news detailing Biden family corruption based on data obtained from Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation designed to manipulate the election.
“In one meeting on October 7, 2020 — just one week before the New York Post article on the Hunter Biden laptop was published — the agenda explicitly listed “Hack/Leak Concerns” as an item of discussion,” Jordan wrote.
The Federalist reported in August 2021 that the FBI was in possession of Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop as early as December 2019. In his testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley further confirmed that the FBI verified the authenticity of the laptop as early as November 2019 “by matching the device number against Hunter Biden’s Apple iCloud ID.”
FBI individuals quibbled about “what information” they should “reveal to social media companies when asked in upcoming meetings” to explain the laptop, Jordan said. Ultimately, the agency decided to stick to the “no comment” narrative until well after the 2020 election was over.
“Put simply, after the FBI conditioned social media companies to believe that the laptop was the product of a hack-and-dump operation, the Bureau stopped its information sharing, allowing social media companies to conclude that the New York Post story was Russian disinformation,” Jordan explained.
Jordan noted that a federal judge’s recent memorandum ruling in Missouri v. Biden proved this censorship directly inhibited “millions of Americans from having a clear understanding about a salient issue in the 2020 presidential election.”
If Hunter’s laptop was truly the product of a Russian disinformation campaign as so many suggested, the FBI’s FITF had the authority to “share the specific details” of that propaganda war, Dehmlow said.
“Instead, the refusal of FBI officials — the very officials who knew the laptop was real — to verify the authenticity of the laptop allowed widespread censorship about an otherwise accurate news story,” Jordan concluded.
Jordan demanded on behalf of his committee that Wray name those in the FBI’s FITF who knew of the laptop’s authenticity but still advocated for the agency to stay quiet until after the election. He also asked for all documents, records, and communications related to the FBI’s meetings with Silicon Valley censors beginning in 2017 to be handed over by Aug. 3. Lastly, Jordan requested that all the FBI employees involved in this issue be available for transcribed interviews with the committee.