Rep. Darrell Issa sent document preservation notices to the White House, Facebook, Twitter and members of the intelligence community who he said were involved with coordinating the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the November 2020 presidential election.
Mr. Issa said “collusion” in the news media blackout and accusations that it was a Russian information campaign with the laptop belonging to President Biden’s son surfaced during the 2020 campaign with a trove of data about Hunter Biden’s far-flung and questionable business dealings.
“There’s no question that Big Tech colluded with some of the nation’s most powerful media and most influential Democrat partisans in the intelligence community to suppress the truth, censor fact-based journalism, and shelter the Biden family from political and legal scrutiny,” the California Republican said in a statement. “We will ensure that the truth is revealed and that those associated with corruption and collusion are held accountable.”
Mr. Issa, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s panel on intellectual property and the internet, cast a wide net with his requests.
He sent 12 preservation document request letters on Friday to Facebook/Meta Chairman CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook/Meta Policy Communications Director Andy Stone, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, Block CEO Jack Dorsey, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, Former CIA Director John O. Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, former CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden and former CIA Deputy Chief of Staff Nick Shapiro.
Former intelligence officials who doubted the authenticity of the Hunter Biden computer in 2020 insist that, based on their experience and the evidence available at the time, the laptop was consistent with Russian disinformation campaigns.
In his letters, Mr. Issa calls for “all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that is or may be potentially responsive to this congressional inquiry.”
It would include electronic messages about the determined topic that are sent using official and personal accounts or devices, including records created using text messages and phone-based message applications on encryption software.
Hunter Biden returned to the media spotlight recently with reports that he was still under federal investigation over his foreign business dealings and tax debt. The New York Times reported that it had verified the authenticity of the emails and other documents on the laptop, which The New York Post first reported in October 2020.
The Post’s report revealed that Hunter Biden had arranged a meeting between a Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings executive and his father, who was the vice president in the Obama administration at the time.
In the spring of 2014, Hunter Biden and his business associate Devon Archer were hired to serve on Burisma Holdings’ board just after President Obama placed Vice President Biden in charge of managing U.S. relations with Ukraine.
Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 a month for the Burisma gig. The State Department viewed Burisma as corrupt, according to a Senate Republican report.
Mr. Biden repeatedly insisted that he never spoke with his son about his business in Ukraine, Russia and China, but email from the laptop contradicted the claims.
The “smoking gun” was an email from 2015 that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent to Hunter Biden thanking him for setting up a meeting with his father in Washington.
Social media and left-leaning mainstream news outlets prevented the story from being widely viewed by American voters.
The Post obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop contents from former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was Mr. Trump’s personal attorney. Mr. Giuliani received a copy of the laptop’s hard drive from a Wilmington, Delaware, computer repair shop owner after Hunter Biden abandoned the laptop at his business.
Democrats dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story. They said the materials found on the hard drive were possibly hacked or leaked as part of a foreign election interference campaign and compared it to the leaks of Democratic emails in 2016, and 51 former intelligence officials signed a public letter that cast doubt on the laptop story.
Weeks before the November election, social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, blocked or restricted the story. Twitter suspended the newspaper’s online account.
Several reports by The Washington Times about the Hunter Biden laptop documents also were blocked by social media platforms.
House Republican leaders also are sending out document preservation requests across the Biden administration in anticipation of recapturing the House majority in the November elections and launching numerous oversight investigations and hearings into the Biden presidency.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans are interested in knowing more about the laptop and think President Biden was probably involved in his son’s foreign business deals, a Rasmussen Reports poll shows.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on March 21-22. The margin of sampling error is 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.