Has the FBI LOST Hunter Biden's laptop? Matt Gaetz grills top agent about seized drive
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz grilled a top FBI official over the whereabouts of Hunter Biden's laptop during a House Judiciary hearing on oversight of the agency's Cyber Division on Tuesday, March 29.
The GOP firebrand, who is a staunch supporter of former President Donald J. Trump, tore into the division's assistant director Bryan Vorndran, who repeatedly admitted that he didn't have any information on the hard drive belonging to President Joe Biden's son. Gaetz tried to enter the hard drive into the Congressional record at one point but was blocked by House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who later changed his mind about the admission of evidence.
"Sir, I'm not here to talk about the laptop. I'm here to talk about the FBI's cyber program," Vorndran told Gaetz after being pressed about the laptop's whereabouts. "You are the assistant director of FBI cyber. I want to know where Hunter Biden's laptop is. Where is it?" the congressman continued. "Sir, I don't know that answer," the FBI official responded. Calling Vorndran's claim "astonishing," Gaetz asked, "Has FBI cyber assessed whether Hunter Biden's laptop could be a point of vulnerability, allowing America's enemies to hurt our country?"
Rep. Matt Gaetz: "So where is it? The laptop."— The Hill (@thehill) March 29, 2022
Mr. Vorndran: "Sir, I'm not here to talk about the laptop. I'm here to talk about the FBI cyber program."
Rep. Matt Gaetz: "You are the assistant director of FBI cyber. I want to know where Hunter Biden's laptop is. Where is it?" pic.twitter.com/FAkTjvl1FZ
Republicans have amped up their pursuit of the so-called "laptop from hell" after The New York Times said it authenticated a hard drive belonging to Hunter. Their admission came more than a year after the New York Post was criticized and censored for reporting on the contents of the hard drive, with many on the left-wing dismissing it as Russian disinformation.
The hard drive was reportedly obtained from a MacBook belonging to the President's son that was left in a Delaware computer repair shop but never collected. The device is said to contain incriminating evidence including emails related to Hunter's overseas business dealings as well as disturbing images depicting him indulging in sex acts and drug abuse.
Vorndran told Gaetz on Tuesday that the laptop does not fall into his division's purview, to which Gaetz remarked, "I mean, Hunter Biden's password on his laptop was 'hunter02.' And now you're telling me right here that as the assistant director of FBI Cyber, you don't know where this is after it was turned over to you three years ago."
When the FBI official said that was an "accurate statement," the congressman thundered, "How are Americans supposed to trust that you can protect us from the next Colonial Pipeline if you can't locate a laptop that was given to you three years ago from the first family potentially creating vulnerabilities for our country?" Gaetz was referring to a Russian-linked hack that disabled the largest fuel pipeline in the US in May 2021, leading to gas shortages across the East Coast.
Vorndran, visibly frustrated with the questioning, told Gaetz that it was "not in the realm of my responsibilities to deal with the questions you're asking." He added, "We can do this back-and-forth for the next couple of minutes. I don't have any information about the Hunter Biden laptop."
BREAKING: FBI Cyber Chief can't find Hunter Biden's laptop... pic.twitter.com/sZrJcc9IWR— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 29, 2022
The two also clashed on whether the laptop constituted a "cyber asset", with Gaetz telling Vorndran, "You can't even sit here right now and say that you know there's not a point of vulnerability. Is the first family sufficient cyberinfrastructure to protect? You don't even know if they're compromised." The congressman then asked the chair Nadler to enter what he claimed to be a copy of the hard drive into the congressional record.
#BREAKING: At the House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) claimed to be in possession of the Hunter Biden laptop, and sought unanimous consent to enter into the Committee's record its contents.— Forbes (@Forbes) March 29, 2022
Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) objected. pic.twitter.com/MeJouCkaXu
Nadler appeared to object at first. He conferred with an aide and said he would object to Gaetz's motion. The Florida lawmaker subsequently challenged the chairman, "What's the basis of that objection?" Nadler then changed his mind and said, "It may very well be entered into the record after we look at it further." Gaetz said they could consult "with majority staff" if that would reassure Nadler, but the chair allowed the drive to be entered into the record "without objection."