FBI Director Wray’s Remark on Hunter Biden’s Laptop During ‘Election Season’ Raises Questions


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FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday claiming that the bureau couldn’t discuss the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 in part because it was “an election season.” Wray was grilled by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) on why they avoided letting the public know that, despite the media narrative at the time, the laptop was indeed real. “Why didn’t the FBI just say, ‘Hey, the laptop’s real?’” Kennedy asked. “Why didn’t you tell everybody, ‘The laptop’s real; we’re not vouching for what’s on it, but it’s real. This isn’t a fiction’?” “Well, I, as you might imagine, the FBI cannot — especially at a time like that — be talking about an ongoing investigation,” Wray replied. The director would then state to Kennedy that various entities had concluded that the FBI was not involved in directing Twitter to suppress information on the laptop, prompting the congressman to reply, “But others were in government.” Kennedy then pointed to how the FBI needs – and needed – to be independent of other arms of the federal government. “You’re not part of the White House and part of Homeland Security. You’re not supposed to be political. You see all this controversy going on,” he pressed. “Why didn’t the FBI say, ‘Timeout folks; we’re not getting in the middle of this, but the laptop’s real?’” “Again, we have to be very careful about what we can say,” Wray responded, “especially in the middle of an election season…”

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook limited exposure of the laptop news after receiving a warning from the bureau to be on the lookout for Russian propaganda at around the same time this particular story was coming out. “The FBI, I think, basically came to us – some folks on our team – and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert… We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election,” Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan. “‘We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,’” he continued.

So to some degree, Wray is correct. The FBI had plausible deniability because they just issued general warnings to be on the lookout for disinformation at the same time the Hunter Biden laptop story was coming to light. Zuckerberg said that they were not specifically instructed by the FBI to focus on the Hunter Biden story, but that they did so anyway because “it basically fit the pattern” that they had been warned about. “The FBI routinely notifies U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats,” they said in a statement following Facebook’s claims.

Did the FBI Help Suppress the Hunter Biden Laptop Story?

Former Twitter executives have acknowledged that they suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 presidential election but denied that they did so at the behest of law enforcement officials.

Can’t Have It Both Ways, Wray

FBI Director Wray’s comments about not wanting to make public statements during “an election season” are partially a reference to former FBI head James Comey, who infuriated Democrats by doing so regarding Hillary Clinton’s private emails in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

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