FBI says 'nothing to add' to DNI Ratcliffe assessment on Hunter Biden laptop, emails

Oct 21, 2020

National
FBI says 'nothing to add' to DNI Ratcliffe assessment on Hunter Biden laptop, emails

Washington (USA) October 21: The FBI on Tuesday said they have "nothing to add" to the statement Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe made that the laptop and emails purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden are not being investigated as Russian disinformation, Fox News has learned.
In a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, exclusively obtained by Fox News, the FBI said they "have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence."
"As you may know, the Office of the Director of National intelligence has advised the Ameircan public that, in advance of the 2020 election, a number of nation-states plan to use covert and overt influence measures in an attempt to sway voter preferences and perspectives, sow discord in the United States, and undermine the confidence of Americans in our democratic process," FBI Assistant Director Jill Tyson of the Office of Congressional Affairs wrote to Johnson.
"The FBI is the primary investigative agency responsible for the integrity and security of the 2020 election, and as such, we are focused on an array of threats, including the threat of malign foreign influence operations," Tyson wrote. "Regarding the subject of your letter, we have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence."
Tyson added: "If actionable intelligence is developed, the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide defensive briefings to you and the Committee pursuant to the established notification framework."
Ratcliffe, on Monday, said that Hunter Biden's laptop and the emails on it "is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign," despite claims from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
"Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn't believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that," Ratcliffe said. "And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff, or any member of Congress."
Ratcliffe went on to say that it is "simply not true."
Meanwhile, two senior administration officials told Fox News on Tuesday evening that the FBI is in posession of the laptop purtportedly belonging to the younger Biden.
The FBI, in its letter to Johnson, wrote that "consistent with longstanding Department of Justice (Department) policy and practice, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation or persons or entities under investigation, including to Members of Congress."
"As the Inspector General firmly reminded the Department and the FBI in recent years, this policy is designed to preserve the integrity of all Justice Department investigations and the Department's ability to effectively administer justice without political or other undue outside influences," Tyson wrote. "Therefore, the FBI cannot provide any additional information in response to the enumerated questions in your letter."
The FBI's letter to Johnson comes as his committee is investigating the laptop and emails purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, and reveal that Hunter Biden allegedly introduced his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2015 at Hunter's request.
Johnson, R-Wis., told Fox News last week that the committee has been in touch with the person who provided the emails and was in the process of validating the information.
"We regularly speak with individuals who email the committee's whistleblower account to determine whether we can validate their claims," Johnson told Fox News. "Although we consider those communications to be confidential, because the individual in this instance spoke with the media about his contact with the committee, we can confirm receipt of his email complaint, have been in contact with the whistleblower, and are in the process of validating the information he provided."
The emails in question were first obtained by the New York Post and, in part, revealed that Hunter Biden allegedly introduced his father, the then-vice president, to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings less than a year before he pressured government officials in Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the company's founder.
The Post report revealed that Biden, at Hunter's request, met with the executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, in April 2015 in Washington, D.C.
The meeting was mentioned in an email of appreciation, according to the Post, that Pozharskyi sent to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015 - a year after Hunter took on his position on the board of Burisma.
"Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It's realty [sic] an honor and pleasure," the email read.
The Biden campaign told Fox News Sunday that the former vice president "never had a meeting" with Pozharskyi.
Biden, prior to the emails surfacing, repeatedly has claimed to have "never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings."
Hunter Biden's business dealings, and his role on the board of Burisma, emerged during the Trump impeachment inquiry in 2019.
Source: Fox News