House Republicans have sent a letter to the FBI about whether the agency had obtained a laptop that purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden during an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump last year.
The alleged contents of a hard drive on the laptop are the subject of a series of explosive reports by the New York Post that reportedly shed further light on Hunter Biden’s dealings with China and Ukraine. The campaign of Joe Biden, the father of Hunter Biden, denied the reports.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are now questioning whether the FBI was in possession of the laptop allegedly containing damaging information on Hunter Biden relating to his father. The impeachment inquiry centered around a July 25 phone call in which Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asking him to look into allegations surrounding Hunter Biden when he sat on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings. The NY Post-revealed email included a message from a Burisma official, Vadym Pozharskyi, who wrote: “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
“If the FBI was, in fact, in possession of this evidence and failed to alert the White House to its existence, that would have given even more weight to the president’s legal defense, this was a gross error in judgement and a severe violation of trust,” the letter said.
It was signed by 19 House Republicans, including Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), and Jody Hice (R-Ga.).
The NY Post had reported that the FBI came into possession of the laptop in December 2019, which was during the height of the impeachment inquiry of Trump. At the time, Democrats were accusing Trump of abusing his power and obstructing justice, impeaching him on the two counts in the House, although the Senate ultimately acquitted him.
“A large portion of the president’s legal defense case revolved around strong evidence that former Vice President Biden’s son Hunter was peddling his influence to his father to land lucrative jobs overseas that he might not have otherwise been qualified for,” the GOP letter said.
The FBI hasn’t responded to a request for comment.
The Republicans then asked whether the law enforcement agency had the laptop hard drive in question and whether anyone at the agency briefed the White House or Department of Justice after December. They also want to know if the FBI attempted to authenticate the laptop or hard drive.
“Why did the New York Post have the information about this laptop and hard drive before the American people?” it asks.
Meanwhile, both Twitter and Facebook took steps to prevent people from sharing or limiting the reach of NY Post article, asserting that it needed to be fact-checked and that it violated its terms of service.
Later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to complaints from the Post.
“Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Fox News first reported on the House Judiciary Committee request on Thursday night.
On Wednesday, Biden’s campaign issued a response saying he committed no wronging.
“Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath,” the Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.