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FBI shocker: Agent told boss Biden laptop could be Russian disinformation, but team knew otherwise
Just The News ^ | December 26, 2023 11:00pm | By John Solomon

Posted on 12/27/2023 7:40:16 AM PST by Red Badger

House Judiciary interviews reveal that the FBI knew Hunter Biden's laptop was "real" for a long time before it was portrayed by Biden camp and mainstream media as "Russian disinformation."


The FBI agent who ran the bureau’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) during the 2020 election admitted in Congressional testimony that he advised his leadership that Hunter Biden’s laptop could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign, apparently unaware his team already knew that the FBI had obtained and corroborated the computer as “real,” according to interview transcripts reviewed by Just the News.

Retired FBI Special Agent Bradley Benavides' account to the House Judiciary Committee comes as congressional investigators gather mounting evidence that the government's early efforts to identify and block alleged misinformation in politics have been so haphazard as to inject inaccurate, speculative, or incomplete information themselves into the public domain.

Benavides served as the very first FBI section chief for the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), a new entity created during the 2020 election to issue warnings to other bodies in government and the private sector about possible foreign misinformation or disinformation.

“I remember a question being posed broadly if there was a laptop purported to be attributed to Hunter Biden, is it possible that a foreign adversary, like the Russians, could be using that as a way to insert into the U.S. political system false information, bad information, corrupted information, all kinds of things that could be on the laptop? Is it possible, FITF, that the Russians are capable of doing this? And my response would have been yes,” Benavides told the House Judiciary Committee in a Sept. 28 transcribed interview reviewed by Just the News.

The FBI effort has drawn increased scrutiny because its work often was cited as a basis for censorship of news and opinion content on social media during the election. The New York Times, for example, did not acknowledge the existence of the laptop or its contents until more than a year after the 2020 election.

The task force was one of the bodies cited by a federal appellate court for banning federal agencies from having censorship-related contacts with Big Tech platforms ahead of the 2024 election. The federal government continues to deny any collaboration with media in papers filed to the United States Supreme Court last week.

Benavides said he received a request for his input on the Hunter Biden laptop before the November 2020 election from Executive Assistant Director John Brown, then the No. 3 national security official at the bureau behind the Director and Deputy Director.

“It was broad,” Benavides said of the question Brown asked. “It would have been, is it possible that the Russians had the sophistication, the capabilities to potentially insert a laptop purported to be associated with Hunter Biden? It would have been a broad question based on my recollection.”

Benavides told the committee he had not done any research on the laptop beforehand and never looked further into whether the laptop was real after giving Brown his answer.

“Did you have to take anything back to your team or conduct your own analysis, or you just were able to provide an answer immediately?” the retired agent was asked.

“I would have provided the answer immediately based on my understanding of sophisticated Russian operations,” Benavides answered.

“Did you do anything else after this conversation with him?” he was pressed.

“Not that I immediately recall. Not that I recall,” he answered.

His answer has caught lawmakers’ attention, in part because a fellow FBI agent named Laura Dehmlow, who succeeded Benavides as the FITF section chief, told the same committee in her interview that task force members, including herself, already knew by fall 2020 – before the election – that Hunter Biden’s laptop had been corroborated and even told social media companies during one of the task force’s meetings in October 2020 with social media companies' executives.

“I remember having a conversation with or being involved in a conversation with Twitter, and I honestly can’t recall if this was repeated to me – I might have been a few minutes late to the meeting – or if – or if I was – I actually overheard it,” Dehmlow said in her interview. “But it was – it was relayed to me later that somebody from Twitter – I don’t recall who. I’m not sure who. Somebody from Twitter essentially asked whether the laptop was real. And one of the FBI folks who was on the call did confirm that, ‘yes, it was,’ before another participant jumped in and said, ‘no further comment.’”

“When the information was relayed to you following the Twitter call, the first agent had said the laptop was real. Just to clarify, you knew prior to that conversation that the laptop was real. Is that correct?” she was asked.

"I did, yes,” she answered.

Later Dehmlow was pressed for more details. “Do you know who else at FITF knew that the laptop was real?” a committee lawyer asked.

"I don’t actually. I would assume both my – yes, I would certainly say that Brad Benavides was aware,” she answered.

“What about the individuals on the Russia unit?” she was asked.

“I would assume the unit chief was also aware. I’m pretty certain of that fact,” she added.

Documents recently released by Congress from two IRS whistleblowers show the FBI had determined that a laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware repair shop that was handed over to agents under a federal grand jury subpoena had been authenticated by the FBI as early as 2019 and that the possibility of Russian disinformation on it was already ruled out by early 2020.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is pressing FBI Director Christopher Wray on the work of the FITF and other bodies created by the federal government in the name of fighting disinformation, citing testimony and documents showing federal disinformation hunters sometimes created their own false impression by making proclamations without full evidence to back it up.

For instance, 51 intelligence officials signed a letter in October 2020 claiming the Biden laptop could be Russian disinformation without citing any evidence, and memos dug up by Jordan evidence that the letter was instigated by now-Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, then a staffer with Joe Biden’s campaign, to create a “talking point” at the last presidential debate.

“The refusal of FBI officials—the very officials who knew the laptop was real—to verify the authenticity of the laptop allowed widespread censorship about an otherwise accurate news story,” Jordan wrote Wray in a letter earlier this year.

File 2023-07-20-jdj-to-wray-re-dehmlow-testimony.pdf In his historic ruling in July banning federal agencies from further censorship activities with Big Tech firms, Judge Terry Doughty of the United States District Court of Louisiana singled out the FBI Foreign Influence Task Force for behavior that chilled the First Amendment’s guarantee to free speech. “A significant number of FBI officials from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force also participate in regular meetings with social-media platforms about disinformation,” the judge noted.

He added: “The FBI was included in Industry meetings and bilateral meetings, received and forwarded alleged misinformation to social-media companies, and actually mislead social-media companies in regard to the Hunter Biden laptop story. The Court finds this evidence demonstrative of significant encouragement by the FBI Defendant.”

File missouri-v-biden-ruling (1).pdf Benavides was asked about Dehmlow’s claims and insisted he did not know the laptop was “real” and that he did not try to determine if it was in the FBI’s hands after he gave his answer to the executive assistant director.

“I don't know what 'real' means, and I would need context for that,” he told the committee. “And I can't put myself in Laura's testimony to understand what she might have been trying to convey based on the question that was asked to her.”

Committee lawyers pressed further: “Did you have any knowledge of the FBI's possession of any laptop, regardless of whether the laptop had been authenticated, determined to be Hunter Biden's laptop, determined to be a version of Hunter Biden's laptop possibly corrupted, possession of any 24 laptop whatsoever connected to this issue?

“I was aware of a public narrative around this generally. I assessed, based on John's question, that the FBI might be in possession of the laptop. I was never told, nor would I have asked, ‘Does the FBI have this laptop?’ I would not have done that,” he answered.

Benavides also confirmed to Congress that he was part of a briefing to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson in summer 2020 that warned some of the information they were collecting in their probe of Biden family influence peddling and the millions in foreign dollars it collected might have been fanned by Russia through a Ukrainian lawmaker aligned with Putin.

“I would have been in the room for that. I would not have delivered the defensive brief,” he explained, identifying his boss, Nikki Floris, as the agent which gave the briefing.

Though an FBI agent gave the briefing, Benavides said the information in it was not derived from bureau sources or corroborated by the FBI. Rather it came from other intelligence agencies and forwarded to the FBI through an interagency body known as the Credibility Assessment Group. As such, the FBI agents simply read material unverified by the FBI to the senators. That material was provided to the FBI by other intelligence agency components through the the Office of Director of National Intelligence, he said.

“She would have read verbatim the contents of the script,” he said.

Benavides said the FBI would not authenticate the information itself but instead rely on its credibility because other agencies had vetted it.

“You cannot definitely say in this particular instance, you cannot vouch for the veracity of the intelligence,” he was asked.

“I cannot,” he answered.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; Ukraine
KEYWORDS: bradleybenavides; christopherwray; defundthefbi; electioninterference; fbi; fbisedition; johnbrown
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1 posted on 12/27/2023 7:40:16 AM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

These people make words stand on their heads. It’s like trying to question Humpty Dumpty.


2 posted on 12/27/2023 7:42:06 AM PST by Lurker ( Peaceful coexistence with the Left is not possible. Stop pretending that it is. )
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To: Red Badger

Of course they knew it was real. We knew that they knew it was real. They knew that we knew that they knew it was real. But CNN viewers and NYT readers didn’t know and that is who the charade was for.

3 posted on 12/27/2023 7:46:11 AM PST by
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To: Red Badger

The entire FBI should be exiled to a place their kind live, like North Korea.

4 posted on 12/27/2023 7:49:10 AM PST by eyeamok
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To: Red Badger
Shocker? Yah,as if there's a single top person at The Big Guy's Department of Just Us that isn't entirely corrupt...that isn't an enthusiastic co-conspirator.
5 posted on 12/27/2023 7:49:13 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (Proudly Clinging To My Guns And My Religion)
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To: Red Badger

The FBI not only knew that it was real, they purposely refused to release it, and went along with the propaganda that it was Russian disinformation, because they “didn’t want to influence the election.“ What utter crap, as not releasing, it had an effect upon the election also. They are lying to us on multiple different levels on a constant basis.

There may well be some good FBI agents, but none of them are anywhere near management level. These people have interfered with the 2016 and 2020 elections, and there is no reason to believe that they won’t be interfering in the upcoming presidential election. They are a key component of the Deep State - And the entire agency needs to be taken apart and reassembled as a non-partisan, investigatory unit, the way it was originally intended to be. None of the personnel currently in the FBI should be allowed in the new FBI.

6 posted on 12/27/2023 7:49:42 AM PST by Ancesthntr (“The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.” ― A.E. Van Vogt, The Weapons Shops of Isher)
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To: Lurker

I’d say it’s more like trying to question Ted Bundy.

7 posted on 12/27/2023 7:50:25 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (Proudly Clinging To My Guns And My Religion)
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To: Red Badger

So what? The deed is done.
To do something at this point would require even more drastic action than what was required when the laptop became known. Like a lot of things the GOP does in DC this will likely become just another jerk off.

8 posted on 12/27/2023 7:52:47 AM PST by No Party Affiliation
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To: Red Badger

Another thing that goes in the category of: This will make you incredibly angry, but nothing will be done about it.

9 posted on 12/27/2023 7:54:12 AM PST by brownsfan (It's going to take real, serious, hard times to wake the American public.)
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To: Red Badger

What morons tasked the FBI with foreign intelligence matters? Very dangerous.

10 posted on 12/27/2023 7:55:50 AM PST by blackdog ((Z28.310) My dog Sam eats purple flowers.)
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To: Lurker

It Could have been Russian-—but it could also be Space aliens or MI6 or FBI or Mossad. COULD HAVE Been BUT Wasn’t.

11 posted on 12/27/2023 7:55:58 AM PST by Forward the Light Brigade ( Ride to the sound of the Guns!)
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To: Red Badger

Look on Twitter. When a thread about the naked pictures comes up there’s always some who still insist it’s all Russian disinformation.

12 posted on 12/27/2023 7:59:10 AM PST by packagingguy
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“Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.”
― George Orwell, 1984

13 posted on 12/27/2023 7:59:15 AM PST by Red Badger (Homeless veterans camp in the streets while l aliens are put up in hotels.....................)
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To: packagingguy

There are millions of people who still believe that Trump ‘colluded’ with Russia....................

14 posted on 12/27/2023 8:00:33 AM PST by Red Badger (Homeless veterans camp in the streets while l aliens are put up in hotels.....................)
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To: Red Badger

Apparently Hunters wife was so angry she threw that laptop into the pool. Little did she known the chain of events she started with that. I figured the laptop was genuine after reading about laptop information that could not have been know otherwise confirmed. Then again I stopped following the legacy media long ago. I got tired of being lied to all the time.

15 posted on 12/27/2023 8:07:14 AM PST by Nateman (If the Pedo Profit Mad Moe (pig pee upon him!) was not the Antichrist then he comes in second.)
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To: Red Badger

The FBI is America’s KGB, in that they have made it their job is to know everything that could disrupt the realm or the “the Party.” That may be external threats, but usually, that is things going on within the ruling elites and among party members themselves.

I suspect the FBI knew about Hunter Biden’s activities in real-time, as they occurred.

16 posted on 12/27/2023 8:16:55 AM PST by PGR88
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To: PGR88

House Judiciary Committee, Nov 1, 2023 to DNI Haines: Exerpt,

“Floris and Benavides made it unequivocally clear that ODNI and its Notification Framework were integral to the pretextual ‘defensive’ briefing meant to frustrate and obstruct congressional oversight into the Biden family’s overseas influence-peddling operation. In light of this new information, please provide the Committee and Select Subcommittee with the following information:
1. The script, including all drafts of the script, that ODNI prepared for the FBI to brief Senators Grassley and Johnson on August 6, 2020;
2. All documents and communications referring or relating to the August 6, 2020, defensive briefing provided to Senators Grassley and Johnson;
3. A list of the Intelligence Community agency or agencies that nominated the intelligence that served as basis for the August 6, 2020 defensive briefing of Grassley and Johnson;
4. A list of the individuals on the ODNI’s CAG and the Experts Group involved in decision to provide the August 6, 2020, defensive briefing to Senators Grassley and Johnson;
5. All documents and communications referring or relating to the July 13, 2020, letter from then-Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Mark Warner, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Adam Schiff to the FBI which included a classified attachment with an unclassified element that attempted to tie Senator Grassley and Johnson’s investigation to foreign disinformation; and
6. All documents and communications created by the CAG and the Experts Group in connection with the determination to provide a defensive briefing to Grassley and Johnson.”

17 posted on 12/27/2023 8:34:31 AM PST by Bookshelf
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To: Red Badger

So, after the FBI found out that Grassley and Johnson were investigating the Biden family corruption, they sent agents over to meet with them to try and convince them that what they were investigating was a Russian set - even though they knew it was a lie.

Sounds like textbook obstruction of justice . . .

18 posted on 12/27/2023 8:35:40 AM PST by MCSETots
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To: MCSETots


19 posted on 12/27/2023 8:36:43 AM PST by Red Badger (Homeless veterans camp in the streets while l aliens are put up in hotels.....................)
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To: Red Badger

These are major crimes. The ones who ordered the fbi to ignore the signs of a crime are criminals. All those who obeyed the orders are criminals as well.

And the fbi goes after moms who speak assertively at schoolboard meetings and Catholics who like Latin.

The USA is no longer a constitutional republic. It is a malevolent dictatorship.

20 posted on 12/27/2023 8:56:31 AM PST by I want the USA back (Democracy dies when you take away from those who work and give to those who won't. Khrushchev.)
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