Republican senators are asking pointed questions of the FBI about a laptop computer that contained information about Hunter Biden on its hard drive.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has written FBI Director Christopher Wray to learn whether the FBI did, in fact, take possession of the computer, as claimed by the Delaware computer repair shop owner who shared a copy of the hard drive with former New York City mayor and President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani in turn passed it on to the New York Post, which last week reported that it contained emails concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealing in Ukraine and China and their possible connections with his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.
In the letter, Johnson said the shop owner “informed us that he provided its contents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in response to a December 9, 2019 grand jury subpoena.”
Ten months later, Johnson wrote, the FBI needs to supply some answers.
“As the first step in our due diligence, committee staff contacted FBI officials and asked for confirmation of certain facts in an attempt to validate the whistleblower’s claims and assertions. Unfortunately, several days later, the FBI responded that it would not confirm or deny any information identified by the committee even though several of our questions were not related to the possible existence of an ongoing grand jury investigation,” Johnson, who chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, wrote.
“I have a responsibility to validate and verify the contents of any information produced to my committee. The committee must know if it receives information that could be fraudulent or not accurate. As my staff explained to FBI officials, this information is crucial for several reasons. For example, if any information offered to the committee was linked to a foreign adversary’s attempt to interfere in the election, I would expect the FBI to ensure the committee is protected and receives a defensive briefing,” he wrote.
“Similarly, knowingly providing false information to Congress is a crime, and I would expect the FBI to have informed me if, after having been given notice of what we received, this may have occurred. That is precisely why my staff reached out to the FBI. For these reasons, the committee must know whether the FBI has assessed the validity of materials the whistleblower has provided, and what, if any, actions the FBI has taken since obtaining this information,” he wrote.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who last month co-authored a report condemning Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China while his father was vice president, wrote in a Twitter post that the FBI needs to give some answers.
“The FBI has a duty to inform us. If they believe this was maybe Russian disinformation, they should give us a defensive briefing,” Johnson said. “If, for example, they also believe that what information this whistleblower gave us is fraudulent, that would also be a crime, and the FBI should tell us that.”
Johnson wants to know if the FBI has a reason for keeping quiet.
“Why did they sit on it? Are they covering up just because Hunter Biden might be engaged in things that also maybe should have been investigated and possibly prosecuted? Do we have two systems of justice: one for Democrats and one for Republicans? One for the well-connected versus one for the rest of the Americans?” he asked, according to Fox.
Johnson also said that he found it odd the way the Biden campaign reacted to one published email’s claim that the head of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma met with the former vice president. Joe Biden has often said he never intersected with his son’s business dealings.
“The Biden campaign, all they’ve done to refute or deny any of this is to say that the meeting one of these emails revealed that Vice President Biden had with the No. 3 in control of Burisma never showed up on his official calendar,” Johnson said, according to Fox.
“There’s all kinds of meetings that didn’t show up on his official calendar. This wouldn’t surprise me if this one didn’t.”
During Johnson’s appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures,” host Maria Baritiromo asked Johnson about a news report claiming that the subpoena served on the repair shop owner was signed by an FBI agent who has been working on cases linked to child pornography.
“I think you just made the connection. Again, this is what the FBI, I think, has to come clean about,” Johnson said.
“I don’t want to speculate, other than to say that — what I said publicly before. Our report uncovered so many troubling connections, so many things that need to be investigated, that I really think we’re just scratching the surface,” Johnson said.
“And, yes, I have heard all kinds of things that I think will probably be revealed over the next few days.”
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