The FBI has seized Hunter Biden’s laptop and has confirmed the former vice president’s son’s emails are ‘authentic’, while dispelling earlier claims that they are part of a Russia disinformation campaign.
Senior federal officials told Fox News on Tuesday that the bureau is now in possession of the computer allegedly containing emails that could purportedly implicate Joe Biden in his son’s international business dealings during his time as VP.
Insiders said both the FBI and the Department of Justice have concurred with National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s assessment on Monday that there is no evidence to support the files are part of a Russian disinformation scheme.
Ratcliffe shut down the allegations after Democratic House Intel chair Adam Schiff said the documents were a ‘smear’ on Biden that ‘comes from the Kremlin’.
Joe Biden and his son Hunter are facing renewed scrutiny related to Hunter’s business dealings overseas after his abandoned laptop was found to hold e-mails that allegedly show Joe Biden was in on Hunter’s deals. Joe Biden’s campaign has denied any wrongdoing
Here’s Hunter: The Democratic candidate’s son’s photos were part of the laptop which was obtained by Rudy Giuliani’s attorney and has now been released by the president’s lawyer
Hunter and Joe Biden (pictured left and right centre respectively) with oligarch Kenes Rakishev (far left). The Daily Mail earlier revealed that between 2012 and 2014, Hunter worked as a sort of go-between for Rakishev
Law enforcement sources also reportedly confirmed the emails in question, which includes one in which Ukrainian official Vadym Pozharskyi thanked Hunter for inviting him to meet his father, were real.
The FBI however has declined to confirm whether or not it is examining the laptop and its contents.
In a letter to Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee Ron Johnson on Tuesday, the FBI said it would not be commenting on Ratcliffe’s remarks.
‘Regarding the subject of your letter, we have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence,’ the bureau said.
‘If actionable intelligence is developed, the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide defensive briefings to you and the Committee pursuant to the established notification framework.’
It comes hours after President Trump demanded that Attorney General Bill Barr ‘act fast’ and appoint a special counsel to probe his Democratic rival before Election Day.
Trump said Barr must appoint someone to probe the laptop of Biden’s son, Hunter, which has become the subject of repeated Trump attacks on his rival after the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he handed over what were the contents of Hunter’s laptop to the New York Post.
The president said it revealed ‘major corruption’ and that it has to come out before the election.
Trump has yet to specify what crime he believes the Bidens have committed, but that has not stopped him from going as far as suggesting to voters that Biden belongs in jail.
His demand would appear to run smack into a Justice Department policy against taking actions that would interfere in an election – an issue that played out in 2016 in both the Hillary Clinton email probe and the then-unknown Russia probe.
‘We’ve got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act. And he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody,’ Trump said, asked about naming a special counsel on ‘Fox & Friends.’
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he wants attorney general Bill Barr to name a special prosecutor to probe the Bidens
Trump said he wanted Barr to act before the election, which is just two weeks away
‘This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election,’ Trump said in the call-in appearance on the network.
After issuing his demand to Barr, Trump immediately segued into to the elections, saying: ‘And by the way, we’re doing very well. We’re going to win the election.’
On Monday, DNI John Ratcliffe said Hunter Biden’s laptop ‘is not part of some Russia disinformation campaign’ as he blasted Rep. Adam Schiff for saying dirt on Trump’s rival came from the Kremlin.
He confirmed that the FBI have the laptop but did not comment on whether they are investigating its contents.
Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who assumed his post in May, accused Schiff of having ‘politicized’ intelligence – and responded to Schiff’s claim about the mysterious laptop that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he obtained from a computer repair shop owner.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that Hunter Biden’s laptop ‘is not part of some Russia disinformation campaign’
Its contents, which Giuliani provided to the New York Post, include emails purporting to show business ties between Joe Biden and his son, who in documents looks to be seeking to cash in on his father’s former position as vice president in Ukraine and in China.
‘And unfortunately, it is Adam Schiff who said the intelligence community who as you pointed out on Friday said that the intelligence community believes the Hunter Biden laptop and emails on it are part of a Russian disinformation campaign,’ he added.
‘Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that, because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff, or any member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign. It’s simply not true.’
A receipt from The Mac Shop in Wilmington, Delaware, appears to show Hunter Biden’s signature signing off for repair work on three MacBook Pro laptops for $85
Last week a New York Post report claimed that Hunter Biden’s laptop was abandoned at The Mac Shop in Wilmington, Delaware (above) for months and was found to contain e-mails that purportedly implicate Joe Biden in his son’s international business deals during his time as Vice President. The Biden campaign has denies any wrongdoing
However he also said that the FBI, which is part of the intelligence community, was in possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
‘The FBI has had possession of this,’ Ratcliffe said. ‘Without commenting on any investigation that they may or may not have, their investigation is not centered around Russian disinformation and the intelligence community is not playing any role with respect to that.’
Giuliani provided the Post with a subpoena for the laptop dated December 19, 2019, an indication it has been in the bureau’s possession for months.
The Post reported, based on an email said to be included in the laptop, that Ukrainian official Vadym Pozharskyi had sought a meeting with the elder Biden in 2015.
‘Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,’ the email said.
However the email did not state that the two actually met, and the Biden campaign responded that ‘we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.’
On Tuesday, documents emerged that appeared to show Hunter Biden’s signature on a receipt from a Delaware computer shop where he dropped off laptops that included details of his international business deals.
The receipt from The Mac Shop in Wilmington apparently shows Hunter had signed off on repair work on three MacBook Pro laptops for $85, according to Fox News. However, the signature has not been verified.
Ratcliffe, who was a vocal defender of Trump during impeachment where Schiff played a key role, called out people using the Intel community to ‘leverage some political narrative.’
Schiff told CNN that ‘We know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.’
‘That’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative and the vice president and his son. … pushing this Kremlin narrative is pretty breathtaking. … and the president is only too happy to have Kremlin help to amplify it.’
The attacks come amid continued questions about the Hunter Biden emails that have roiled the campaign in its final weeks.
President Trump has seized on the information and has made it the focus of election rallies over the weekend, seeking to portray the Bidens as a ‘crime family.’