Two senators Monday demanded all communications over Hunter Biden’s laptop between the FBI and Facebook, after Facebook and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bombshell admission that FBI officials told him in late 2020 there would be reports that are actually Russian disinformation.
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Zuckerberg Monday saying that in October 2020, “when the New York Post published articles citing evidence from Hunter Bidens Laptop based, many news and social media organizations unduly rushed to censor and discredit the original reporting, falsely labeling it ‘disinformation’.”
In the Rogan interview, Zuckerberg said Facebook was active in outreach of posts and articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop, which contained news and emails about the younger Biden’s overseas operations, as well as communications with his family, including President Joe Biden, about his businesses reduced.
Earlier this year, older news outlets finally reported that the laptop was genuine — not Russian disinformation.
“Basically the background here is the FBI, I think basically some people on our team came up to us and said, ‘Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert. We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 elections. We know that basically there will be a kind of garbage dump similar to this one. So be vigilant,” Zuckerberg told Rogan last week.
The two Republicans asked Zuckerberg to release all relevant information and communications by September 12.
“You recently appeared to imply that the reason Facebook made the unwise decision to censor articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop was because of a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the senators said, referencing Zuckerberg’s recent podcast interview with Joe Rogan . Zuckerberg made the disclosure about communications between the FBI and his company in 2020 ahead of the presidential election.
“Whistleblowers have also alleged to Senator Johnson that local FBI leadership instructed their staff not to look at Hunter Biden’s laptop immediately after the FBI received it,” the senators continued, adding that the Americans ” deserve to know if the FBI used Facebook as part of their alleged plan to discredit information about Hunter Biden.”
Communications between Facebook and the FBI should be handed over to the two Republicans because Americans need to know if the FBI pressured Facebook to discredit information about Hunter Biden ahead of the election, they wrote.
“Congress and the American people need clarity on the extent to which the FBI communicated with Facebook about Hunter Biden-related information during the 2020 election,” they said.
Last weekend, the FBI responded to Zuckerberg’s comment and said it was issuing a general warning to Facebook and other social media companies. It did not include a call to action, the bureau said.
The FBI “cannot request or direct any company to take any action based on information received,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, issued a statement saying the FBI shared general warnings ahead of the election and made no mention of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son.
According to the letter, Zuckerberg’s revelation that “Facebook took steps to censor information about Hunter Biden on its platform based on FBI instructions raises even more questions about the FBI’s actions regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
“As you may be aware, whistleblowers recently alleged to Senator Grassley that in August 2020 FBI officials initiated a program to downplay derogatory information about Hunter Biden in order to decommission his potential criminal exposure by labeling it as a Label ‘disinformation’. ‘” it continued.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.