OSHKOSH – On Monday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pushed for clarity about comments made by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicating that Facebook took “meaningful” steps to decrease distribution of the reports about Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020 after Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials approached the company with warnings about disinformation.
Sens. Johnson and Grassley are seeking records relating to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) and FBI’s contact with Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies relating to the Biden family, Hunter Biden’s laptop and Russian disinformation around the time of the election. They also ask for the names of government and Facebook officials involved in these conversations.
“The FBI’s consistent efforts to falsely paint information relating to Biden Family misconduct as Russian disinformation continues to draw serious concerns, and those concerns are magnified by the FBI’s consistent failure to answer congressional inquiries,” the senators wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray. “The FBI’s ill-conceived actions not only interfered in our congressional investigation by frustrating and obstructing our ability to advance the matters under review, it also interfered in the 2020 election.”
The senators wrote separately to Zuckerberg seeking relevant records and the names of officials involved in the communications with the Justice Department and FBI. They also ask for clarity about the dates when Facebook decreased the distribution of articles relating to Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“The American people deserve to know whether the FBI used Facebook as part of their alleged plan to discredit information about Hunter Biden,” the senators wrote to Zuckerberg.
Read more about the senators’ letters in the New York Post.
The full text of the senators’ letter to Zuckerberg can be found here.
The full text of the senators’ letter to the FBI and Justice Department can be found here.
Over the last two years, Sens. Johnson and Grassley have led the investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign financial entanglements. In August 2020, the FBI provided an unnecessary briefing to the senators, which led to a leak that falsely labeled the investigation as advancing Russian disinformation. The senators are demanding FBI personnel appear for transcribed interviews about this interference after years of evading questions. Read the senators’ September 2020 report here and November 2020 supplemental report here. The senators also publicly released bank records relating to the Biden family’s financial connections to the communist Chinese government on March 28, 2022; March 29, 2022; and April 5, 2022.