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Ron Johnson describes Hunter Biden letter as “sabotage”, demands deeper investigation

By Ben Marquis
|
February 14, 2023

Right before the 2020 election and in response to damningly revelatory stories about the contents of Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop, a group of current and former intelligence officials issued a letter that dismissed those stories as likely being nothing more than "Russian disinformation" intended to impact the election results.

According to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), however, it was that letter itself that was a "most effective" act of electoral "sabotage" that was far more impactful upon the results of the election than anything that Russia may have done, the Washington Examiner reported.

The Republican senator from Wisconsin further urged his Republican colleagues in the House to call in all 51 individuals who signed that letter to be interviewed and questioned about it.

During an appearance on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" with host Maria Bartiromo, Sen. Johnson said, "That letter that they sent was an information operation itself and impacted and interfered in our election to a far greater extent than anything Russia could have ever hoped to accomplish."

Baseless allegation of Russian disinformation

The letter that Johnson referenced was issued on Oct. 19, 2020, in response to the initial reports from the New York Post about the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop that had been abandoned more than a year earlier in a Delaware computer repair shop.

It was signed by 51 current and former intelligence officials, plus nine others who remained anonymous, and included the likes of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former CIA Directors John Brennan, Mike Hayden, Michael Morrell, and Leon Panetta, to name just a few.

The letter first outlined the experience all of the officials had with Russia and stated that "the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

That was immediately caveated, though, with the statement, "We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement -- just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case."

The intelligence officials went on to point to several factors that led to their conclusion, including the debunked allegations of Russian collusion with Trump, prior Russian cyberattacks on the U.S. and Ukraine's Burisma, and anonymous media reports that accused Giuliani of working with the Russians on "disinformation" and "influence operations."

"Most egregious and effective act of sabotage"

The Examiner noted that House Republicans have already opened up investigations into Hunter Biden's laptop, including whether it contains evidence of corruption by President Joe Biden and the circumstances surrounding the concerted social media suppression of the New York Post's reports, both through the Oversight Committee as well as a special Judiciary subcommittee focused on the political "weaponization" of federal agencies.

Sen. Johnson, who has conducted his own probe of the Biden laptop with little support over the past two years, actually testified at the weaponization subcommittee's first public hearing last week, and told the members much the same thing that he told Fox News' Bartiromo on Sunday.

"Perhaps the most egregious and effective act of sabotage against the truth, was the public letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials that claimed the laptop had, quote, all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation, unquote," Johnson said.

"That letter itself was an information operation that interfered with and impacted the 2020 presidential election to a far greater extent than anything Russia ever could have hoped to achieve," the senator added. "Each of those intelligence officials needs to be interviewed to determine how that letter was masterminded.

Biden is likely "compromised" by enemies and rivals

In his Fox News interview with Bartiromo, Sen. Johnson also discussed the Biden administration's dubious handling of the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon and the more recent subsequent shootdowns of several unidentified "objects" that had violated U.S. and Canadian airspace.

He argued that it displayed Biden's "weakness" on the global stage and further asserted that it could be evidence that the president was "compromised" by certain enemy and rival nations, most likely through his son Hunter's questionable foreign business dealings, as detailed on the laptop.

"Every action this president has taken is weak in this country, and again, I don't know all of the ways that Joe Biden is compromised in terms of his foreign financial entanglements, but the Chinese communist government knows," Johnson said. "Russia knows, Iran knows, and that's why we need to get to the bottom of this."