More On: Hunter Biden
Through the U.S. Ambassador, Hunter Biden and his associates tried to get money from the Irish in 2011
Republican Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley have asked that Facebook turn over all interactions with the FBI, Justice Department, and other government bureaucracy concerning First Son Hunter Biden, his laptop, business activities, and Russian disinformation.
Sen. Johnson, ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Sen. Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked for the names of all FBI and DOJ officials who warned Facebook that an impending document dump before the 2020 election would be Russian disinformation, leading the social media giant to mistakenly suppress The Post's Hunter Biden laptop story in a new letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday.
The Senators wrote, "The American people need to know whether the FBI exploited Facebook as part of their purported plot to undermine information concerning Hunter Biden."
"If that is the case, Congress and the American people need to know how much the FBI interacted with Facebook on Hunter Biden-related information throughout the 2020 election."
Last week, Zuckerberg told podcaster Joe Rogan that the FBI came to Facebook specifically to warn the firm that there was "going to be" a "Russian propaganda" attempt with a document dump that "matched the pattern" of The Post's Oct. 14, 2020 report.
“Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think basically came to us – some folks on our team – and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert. We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”
According to Senators Johnson and Grassley, Zuckerberg's admission that Facebook took efforts to restrict information about Hunter Biden on its platform based on FBI guidance "raises even more questions about the FBI's conduct involving Hunter Biden's laptop."
"As you may be aware, whistleblowers recently stated to Senator Grassley that in August 2020, FBI officials launched a strategy to downplay adverse material on Hunter Biden in order to halt investigative action connected to his potential criminal exposure by labeling it'disinformation.'
“Whistleblowers have also alleged to Senator Johnson that local FBI leadership instructed its employees not to look at the Hunter Biden laptop immediately after the FBI had obtained it.”
Republicans wanted data relating to the DOJ and FBI's contact with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media firms regarding the Biden family, Hunter's laptop, and Russian disinformation in a second letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday.
They were upset by the FBI's "repeated refusal to respond to congressional requests."
"The FBI's continuous efforts to frame material about Biden family misbehavior as Russian disinformation continues to raise major concerns," they said.
"In August 2020, the FBI offered an unwarranted and unwanted briefing that was misrepresented by our Democratic colleagues as furthering Russian disinformation." Our investigation was based on Obama/Biden administration records and included transcribed interviews with former administration workers. The FBI's ill-advised actions not only hampered our congressional investigation by frustrating and impeding our ability to progress the issues under consideration, but they also hampered the 2020 election.
"In addition, whistleblowers have told Senator Grassley that in August 2020, FBI officials launched a strategy to downplay unflattering material about Hunter Biden in order to halt investigative activities connected to his potential criminal exposure by dubbing it "disinformation."
7 Whistleblowers have also told Senator Johnson that local FBI leadership told them not to check at the Hunter Biden laptop right away after the FBI got it. 8 The American people have a right to know whether the FBI exploited Facebook or other social media platforms as part of their purported attempt to undermine Hunter's information.
Senators also demanded the names of DOJ and FBI officials who engaged with social media firms about Russian disinformation during the 2020 election, as well as the names of Facebook officials who were contacted.