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DHS cybersecurity agency immediately flagged Hunter Biden laptop story: emails

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency shared New York Post report internally same day it was published. "CISA makes the 'Disinformation Governance Board' look tame," House Judiciary GOP says.

Published: October 25, 2023 2:08pm

Updated: October 26, 2023 2:51pm

The Department of Homeland Security agency that helped launch a public-private partnership to flag and mass-report alleged election misinformation to social media platforms in 2020 took an immediate interest in New York Post reporting on emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop, newly revealed documents show.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency internally shared one such report, "Obama conference call leaked to Burisma," the same day it was published, Oct. 14, 2020, according to heavily redacted emails turned over in Freedom of Information Act litigation to America First Legal. 

The only content not redacted in the Oct. 14 email is the web address, date and timestamp, priority ("normal") and type ("Skype.Teams Message"), making the purpose unclear.

Eight days later, a redacted CISA analyst on the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force sent an email to "Colleagues" on "updated reporting for this week" that copies an Axios report titled "QAnon Conspiracy Theory Explodes Ahead of the Election."

The report ties the Pizzagate child sex-trafficking theory to "[r]ecent reports about what was purported to be Hunter Biden's computer hard drive," which has "sparked renewed activity from Q," which posted 16 times the day of the Post scoops.

These emails show that CISA at best was "in the dark" about the authenticity of Biden's laptop, nearly a year after the FBI confirmed its authenticity and despite CISA's representations that it closely coordinates with the FBI, AFL wrote on X.

AFL noted its litigation had already revealed CISA's participation in "prebunking" purported misinformation. The FOIA request was for records related to CISA’s Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation (MDM) Team, "specifically records related to the suppression of Hunter Biden news stories ahead of the 2020 Election," its document production page says.

The emails can be found in part one of the seventh FOIA production to AFL. 

Republican lawmakers quickly responded to the revelations.

"CISA is a poisonous agency staffed by bureaucrats who seem to view their mission as destroying the First Amendment," Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., wrote on X. "CISA makes the 'Disinformation Governance Board' look tame," the House Judiciary Committee GOP X account chimed in.

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