Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asserted to Newsmax on Wednesday that the FBI changed the outcome of the 2020 election by suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.
But as for the bureau's alleged efforts to alter the 2016 presidential election outcome, FBI leadership told prospective whistleblowers, in regard to Hunter Biden's laptop, that the agency is "not going to change the outcome of the election again," Johnson quoted the whistleblowers as saying in a letter to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.
On "Spicer & Co.," Johnson said that "the exact quotes from our whistleblowers ... once the FBI took possession of [Hunter Biden's] laptop computer in December 2019, they were offered it I think [in] the summer [of] 2019, they finally subpoenaed it in December — they were told 'you will not look at that Hunter-laptop-computer. And the FBI is not going to change the outcome of the election again.'"
"Now, what's interesting about that quote," Johnson continued, "is I think they tried to change the outcome of the election in 2016. They just failed. And Donald Trump was still elected president. They absolutely did change the outcome of the election in 2020 by suppressing this information."
While appearing on 'The Joe Rogan Experience,'' Facebook/Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Rogan that the FBI contacted him to tell him that a story about the laptop may be "Russian propaganda," the New York Post reported. "In response," the Post wrote, "Facebook limited sharing of The Post's October 2020" reporting about the laptop.
"Basically, the background here is 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," Zuckerberg said. He added that the FBI told him, "'we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.'"
So while as Johnson claims the FBI knew about the laptop in December 2019, shortly after the Post published the story, 51 former U.S. intelligence officials — guided by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Directors Mike Hayden, Leon Panetta and John Brennan — signed an open letter stating that the situation "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."
Still, while the FBI had knowledge of the laptop, the bureau later issued a response following Zuckerberg's appearance on Rogan's podcast detailing that "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."
Essentially, the FBI asserted it was protecting the country against Russian disinformation while at the same time, as Johnson claims, suppressing information about the laptop until after the 2020 election.
Johnson added that his office has contacted Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking them to "produce all the documents" between the agency and Facebook.
Johnson also mentioned that agency whistleblowers have reached out to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
"We need to get to the bottom of this," said Johnson, who is seeking reelection.
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