FBI validated Hunter Biden laptop months before experts claimed Russian disinformation

By the time 51 intel experts made their disinformation claim, FBI knew it wasn’t true and had exploited evidence from laptop, memo shows.

Published: June 25, 2023 12:12am

Updated: June 25, 2023 2:13am

Months before 51 intelligence experts, the news media and Joe Biden himself suggested without evidence the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, the FBI had authenticated the device as belonging to the first son and prosecutors had expressed confidence its contents had not been manipulated, according to a contemporaneous IRS investigative memo.

The October 2020 memo was penned by IRS Supervisory Criminal Investigative Agent Gary Shapley, now a whistleblower, and provided a chronology of how the FBI validated the laptop as having belonged to Hunter Biden as early as November 2019 and by spring 2020 was exploiting and analyzing its emails, text messages and photos.

“We have no reason to believe there is anything fabricated nefariously on the computer and or hard drive,” the contemporaneous memo stated. “There are emails and other items that corroborate the items on the laptop and hard drive.”

You can read the full memo here:

Shapley told Congress in a transcribed interview released Thursday by the House Ways and Means Committee that after extensive analysis by FBI computer teams that federal prosecutors personally expressed confidence that the laptop was Hunter Biden’s and unadulterated.

“The whole discussion was about: Can we rely on this information on the laptop, is it Hunter Biden's? And their opinion was, it was, and it was not manipulated in any way,” Shapley testified.

A congressional lawyer then asked: “It was reliable evidence?”

The agent replied: “That is correct.”

You can read Agent Shapley's memo here:

The memo and testimony corroborate reporting dating to 2020 by Just the News, which hired computer and handwriting experts to confirm that laptop’s data was authentic and that Hunter Biden signed the receipt at the Delaware computer shop where it was taken for repairs and was abandoned.

Just the News also corroborated specific emails on the laptop with former business partners and others who had separate copies of the content, and government officials confirmed they too had corroborated the laptop as belonging to Hunter Biden.

The IRS memo and testimony also provide the most damning evidence yet that an extensive campaign in fall 2020 to dismiss the laptop as disinformation by news media, intelligence experts led by ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morell, Big Tech and Joe Biden himself had no basis in fact or evidence.

For a while, Hunter Biden himself also called into question the laptop, saying he wasn't sure he dropped it off at the shop.

But the FBI, according to Shapley’s memo, had taken extensive effort a year earlier to corroborate that Hunter Biden – who agents described by the codename “Sportsman” -- had in fact dropped off the laptop at the shop operated by repairman John Paul Mac Isaac.

“Financial records show Sportsman was around Wilmington DE shop at a cigar shop on the same day,” the memo states. “Other intelligence shows Sportsman was in the area. Computershop calls Sportsman to tell him to bring in an external hard drive to put recovered data on to.

“Sportsman returned to the shop with the external hard drive,” the memo also states. “Phone records show shop called Sportsman and sportsman called the shop around this time.

Shapley said it didn’t take long for federal agents to corroborate the laptop belonged to President Biden’s son and contained evidence of crimes.

“The FBI verified its authenticity in November of 2019 by matching the device number against Hunter Biden's Apple iCloud ID,” he explained.

“When the FBI took possession of the device in December 2019, they notified the IRS that it likely contained evidence of tax crimes,” Shapley also stated, while also noting the IRS drafted the search warrant to take formal possession of the device.

Morell has admitted in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that he organized the letter from the 51 intel experts after being contacted by Biden confidante Antony Blinken, now secretary of State.

Morell said his motive was to help Joe Biden win the 2020 election by giving the Democrat nominee a “talking point” to dismiss the laptop in his final debate with Donald Trump in October 2020.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

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