EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans are calling on the FBI to reveal whether it was in possession of a laptop that reportedly contained emails by Hunter Biden during the impeachment of President Trump -- and claiming the agency committed a “gross error in judgement” if it did not inform the White House.
“If the FBI was, in fact, in possession of this evidence and failed to alert the White House to its existence that would have given even more weight to the president’s legal defense, this was a gross error in judgement and a severe violation of trust,” the letter says.
The letter was signed by 19 House Republicans, including Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz.; and Jody Hice, R-Ga.
The letter was written after the New York Post published emails suggesting that Hunter Biden introduced his father to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2015 -- one year before his father allegedly pressured the country's government to fire a prosecutor who had launched an investigation into the company.
The Post reported that the FBI was in possession of the laptop on which the emails were found in December 2019 -- right in the middle of the impeachment of President Trump over remarks he made to the Ukrainian president about Biden’s conduct in the country.
Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House but later acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate.
“A large portion of the president’s legal defense case revolved around strong evidence that former Vice President Biden’s son Hunter was peddling his influence to his father to land lucrative jobs overseas that he might not have otherwise been qualified for,” the letter says.
The lawmakers ask whether the FBI was in possession of the laptop and drive as documented in the Post, whether it took steps to authenticate the drive and the data, and if anyone at the FBI briefed officials at the Department of Justice or White House after December.
“Why did the New York Post have the information about this laptop and hard drive before the American people?” it asks.
An FBI spokesperson told Fox News that the agency had received the letter, but declined to comment futher in keeping with its practice of not confirming or denying an investigation.
Meanwhile, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley on Thursday called on the heads of Twitter and Facebook to testify, and said a subpoena was in the works, after the tech giants limited the distribution of the Post article after it was published.
Fox News’ Megan Henney and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.