Insider: Feds Verified Laptop Story Before Blaming Russian

In the final days of the 2020 presidential race, dozens of top intelligence officials signed a statement asserting that damning evidence found in a laptop purportedly owned and discarded by Hunter Biden “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

Critics say that statement was intended to assuage concerns about the Biden family’s corruption and contributed to President Joe Biden’s win on Election Day.

Although the information on the laptop has since been validated, a charitable interpretation of the aforementioned letter has been that the 51 officials who signed it were responding to the news in good faith, albeit without all of the information needed to make such an assessment.

Such a viewpoint has become harder to defend, however, now that evidence has surfaced revealing the FBI knew months before the letter was released that reports about the laptop were legitimate.

According to a memo written around the same time by an IRS investigator who has since become a whistleblower, officials had all the evidence necessary to validate the laptop and its contents.

“We have no reason to believe there is anything fabricated nefariously on the computer and or hard drive,” Gary Shapley wrote in October 2020. “There are emails and other items that corroborate the items on the laptop and hard drive.”

More recently, he testified before the House Ways and Means Committee to offer additional insight into what officials knew and when they knew it. Federal prosecutors were certain, he said, that the evidence contained on the laptop was reliable.

“The whole discussion was about can we rely on this information on the laptop?” Shapley said. “Is it Hunter Biden’s? And their opinion was, it was, and it was not manipulated in any way.”

After some initial uncertainty about whether Biden actually dropped off — and ultimately abandoned — the computer at a Delaware repair shop, FBI investigators reportedly knew as early as November 2019 that the device did belong to him.

“When the FBI took possession of the device in December 2019, they notified the IRS that it likely contained evidence of tax crimes,” Shapley added.

Nevertheless, federal officials continued to publicly question the laptop story, not only via the letter but by apparently pressuring social media platforms to essentially censor related news reports.