House Republicans Call on Barr to Appoint Special Counsel to Probe Alleged Biden Emails

October 19, 2020 Updated: October 19, 2020

House Republicans on Oct. 19 sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, calling on him to appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged information sourced from a laptop that purportedly belonged to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

“These alleged revelations raise serious questions about former Vice President Joe Biden’s reported participation with his son’s business, dealings, specifically whether the former vice president (1) received foreign monies during his tenure in the Obama administration and (2) if former Vice President Biden allowed his son to peddle access to his father with foreign business entities,” the letter stated. Eleven House Republicans signed the letter.

The Republican lawmakers were referring to reports published by the New York Post, which cited alleged emails that were sourced by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani that claimed Hunter Biden introduced his father to a top executive at Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2015.

Biden’s campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer have both denied the meeting ever took place, while House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) alleged the new revelations were Russian disinformation meant to sway the election in favor of President Donald Trump.

“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,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told news outlets last week. “Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.”

According to the lawmakers’ letter, they want Barr to “immediately appoint an independent” special counsel to investigate the alleged email revelations and want a response to the request by Oct. 23.

On Oct. 19, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, a former Republican lawmaker, said there is no intelligence connecting reports about Hunter Biden’s alleged emails to a Russian disinformation campaign.

He told Fox News: “Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff, or any member of Congress.”

“Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” Ratcliffe said. The laptop is now “in the jurisdiction of the FBI,” noting that the agency’s investigation isn’t focusing on Russia.

Schiff said on CNN over the weekend that the emails were part of a smear campaign against Biden “coming from the Kremlin.”

“That’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about this vice president and his son,” he said.

The Department of Justice didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.