Among the many bombshell revelations dropped during hearings held in the House of Representatives this week was the claim that the FBI personnel who accused the Hunter Biden laptop story of being a Russian misinformation campaign knew that the laptop, and the material found within it, were real.
Laura Dehmlow, Section Chief of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, reportedly took part in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Monday. That testimony has since been transcribed, and the details reveal how the FBI deliberately influenced social media companies in a way that discredited the story.
The details of Dehmlow’s testimony were revealed in a letter published on Thursday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, a Republican legislator from Ohio, to FBI Director Christopher Wray. In the letter, Wray described how the FBI “made an institutional decision to refuse to answer direct questions from social media companies about the laptop’s authenticity – despite months of constant information sharing up to that time.”
According to Jordan, the FBI made the decision in the wake of reports from the New York Post about the existence of a laptop and the thousands of emails and disturbing photographs found on it.
“Put simply, after the FBI conditioned social media companies to believe that the laptop was the product of a hack-and-dump operation, the Bureau stopped its information sharing, allowing social media companies to conclude that the New York Post story was Russian disinformation,” Jordan said in the letter.
Hunter Biden Scandal: Evidence of a Cover-Up?
While the FBI allegedly “conditioned” social media companies to believe that the laptop wasn’t real, Dehmlow also revealed during the closed-door hearing that one FBI official did admit that it was real to a representative of Twitter.
According to Dehmlow, who led the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, one Twitter official explicitly asked whether the laptop was real – and received a mixed response.
“Somebody from Twitter essentially asked whether the laptop was real. And one of the FBI folks who was on the call did confirm that, ‘yes, it was,’ before another participant jumped in and said, ‘no further comment,’” Dehmlow said.
The question from Twitter is particularly relevant given that the social media platform was the first to ban the story from being shared, not just on public profile pages but also in private messages between users.
The banning of the story over a two-day period was justified by Twitter executives over claims that it violated the platform’s “hacked materials” policy.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.