Senate Homeland Security leader Johnson demands FBI verify Hunter Biden whistleblower emails

“The committee must know whether the FBI has assessed the validity of materials the whistleblower has provided" - Committee Chairman Ron Johnson.

Updated: October 18, 2020 - 1:41pm

The GOP-led Senate Homeland Security Committee on Saturday demanded the FBI make known whether the recently discovered whistleblower emails related to Hunter Biden and father Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, are legitimate.

“The committee must know whether the FBI has assessed the validity of materials the whistleblower has provided," Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

The Wisconsin Republican set a deadline of Thursday to receive the information.

Johnson, whose committee was already investigating Hunter Biden’s business deals in the Ukraine, particularly his lucrative contact with the Burisma Holding energy company, also states in the letter that his committee was contacted by a whistleblower about a week before The New York Post published the emails Wednesday. 

The publishing of the emails, about 20 days before the presidential election, has resulted in speculation about their validity and whether they were acquired by hacking – a possibility, says Twitter, that led the social media platform to temporarily block them from being posted. 

The unverified emails appear to show that in 2015 Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top Burisma official shortly before the elder Biden pressured Ukraine government officials into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.

The Biden campaign has discredited the report, saying the nominee never has such a meeting and that his involvement in the matter was carried out as "official U.S. policy." His campaign also said the candidate "engaged in no wrongdoing."

The meeting is mentioned in a thank you message that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent by Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after he joined the Burisma board. 

The correspondence appears to contradict what Joe Biden has said about never speaking to his son about his overseas business dealings.

The email and others were reportedly found on a laptop and hard drive left at a repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware in April 2019, the store owner says. 

In the letter this weekend to Wray, Johnson says the FBI has already denied committee requests for information such as the validity of the whistleblower’s “claims and assertions,” despite the questions being unrelated to a possible grand jury investigation, under which information can be held. 

“I have a responsibility to validate and verify the contents of any information produced to my committee,” Johnson writes. “This information is crucial for several reasons. For example, if any information offered to the committee was linked to a foreign adversary’s attempt to interfere in the election.

He also makes the case that providing false information to Congress is a crime and that he would expect the FBI to inform him of such a situation.

Johnson has requested several pieces of information including: 

  • Does the FBI possess material from Hunter Biden’s laptop(s) and when if so how did the agency obtain this information?
  • Did FBI officials obtain content from Biden’s laptop from a business? 
  • Did the FBI issue a grand jury subpoena from the District Court for the District of Delaware to obtain the information?
  • Has the FBI ever been in possession of any other of Hunter Biden’s laptop(s) or material from Hunter Biden’s laptop(s)?