Hunter Biden: Senators Demand FBI Provide Answers Regarding Laptop Probe

Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson sent a letter to the FBI on Thursday, demanding that the agency explain alleged interference in the Hunter Biden laptop investigation.

Hunter Biden has been the target of intense GOP criticism since before the 2020 election as his father, President Joe Biden, campaigned to defeat then-President Donald Trump. The younger Biden is under federal investigation related to potential money laundering, as well as violations of campaign finance, tax and foreign lobbying laws. The probe initially focused on his business activities in foreign countries while his father served as vice president but reportedly expanded.

Grassley said in a Friday statement that in August 2020, FBI Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Bradley Benavides and FBI intelligence analyst Nikki Floris gave an "unnecessary briefing on behalf of the FBI and Intelligence Community on matters related to the senators' investigation into Hunter Biden."

Hunter Biden: Senators Demand FBI Provide Answers
Above, Hunter Biden speaks during the World Food Program USA's 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony on April 12, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson sent a letter to the FBI on Thursday, demanding that the agency explain alleged interference in the Hunter Biden laptop investigation. Kris Connor/WireImage

"The briefing led to a leak that falsely labeled the investigation as advancing Russian disinformation," the statement read. Now the GOP senators from Iowa and Wisconsin want both FBI officials to appear for a transcribed interview to explain the FBI's alleged interference in the Hunter Biden investigation.

The senators wrote in the letter to Floris and Benavides that "FBI officials initiated a scheme to downplay derogatory information on Hunter Biden for the purpose of shutting down investigative activity relating to his potential criminal exposure by labeling it 'disinformation.'"

They added that "whistleblowers have also alleged that local FBI leadership instructed employees not to look at the Hunter Biden laptop immediately after the FBI had obtained it."

Hunter Biden's laptop reportedly contained a 2015 email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, who was seeking a meeting with his father, who was then serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

Grassley and Johnson alleged that the FBI acted in a biased manner that helped Democrats.

"Simply put, the unnecessary FBI briefing provided the Democrats and liberal media the vehicle to spread their false narrative that our work advanced Russian disinformation. Although you stated that the FBI didn't intend to 'interfere' in our investigation, the practical effect of such an unnecessary briefing and the subsequent leaks relating to it created interference, which frustrated and obstructed congressional oversight efforts," they wrote in their Thursday letter to the FBI officials.

Both Republican senators have previously asked for additional information related to the August 2020 briefing, but have not received "sufficient" response from FBI Director Christopher Wray, according to Grassley's statement. Wray is a Republican who was appointed by Trump in 2017.

"The FBI has consistently failed to respond in full to each request and failed to provide those critical records which casts further doubt on the true purpose for the briefing," the senators said in their letter.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated August 24 to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Senator Johnson of Wisconsin said that new whistleblower allegations about Hunter Biden's laptop suggest a lack of proper government oversight and that "the American people deserve transparency and expect allegations of government corruption to be fully and immediately investigated."

Johnson said that his office received new information from the whistleblower about material on the laptop obtained by the FBI from a Wilmington, Delaware, computer store prior to the 2020 election. The whistleblower, according to the senator, alleges that FBI officials told employees they would "not look at that Hunter Biden laptop."

"These new allegations provide even more evidence of FBI corruption and renew calls for you to take immediate steps to investigate the FBI's actions regarding the laptop," Johnson wrote to Horowitz.

His letter continued: "It is clear to me based on numerous credible whistleblower disclosures that the FBI cannot be trusted with the handling of Hunter Biden's laptop. I hope you understand that the longer your office stands on the sidelines and delays investigating the FBI's actions, the harder it will be for you to uncover the truth and hold individuals accountable for wrongdoing."

Newsweek reached out to the FBI's press office in D.C. for comment.

Hunter Biden has consistently maintained his innocence. His father has expressed confidence in his son and asserted that he will not interfere in the Justice Department probe. U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss has been leading the investigation since it began under Trump, and was asked to stay on when Biden took office.