Laura Dehmlow, section chief of the FBI's Foreign Influence Task Force, disclosed the information during a closed-door deposition to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, where she also admitted that the FBI knew the laptop was authentic as far back as November 2019.
According to a report issued by Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Dehmlow and an FBI Criminal Investigative Division analyst with the FITF attended a previously scheduled meeting with Twitter executives on October 14, 2020.
During the meeting, one of the platform's executives asked if Hunter Biden's laptop was real. The analyst began to explain that it was, in fact, real, but was interrupted by an FBI lawyer interrupted who said the agency did not want to divulge any information "regarding the laptop's provenance."
"Somebody from Twitter essentially asked whether the laptop was real," Dehmlow testified, "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.'"
"Following the meeting with Twitter, FBI personnel immediately deliberated internally about what information about the laptop the FBI would reveal to social media companies when asked in upcoming meetings," Jordan continued.
"According to Dehmlow, during these internal deliberations the decision was made that FITF would say 'no comment' going forward."
Jordan went on to slam the FBI for making that decision, and attempting to spin the narrative that the story was Russian disinformation, "despite being in possession of the laptop and having confirmed its authenticity." He aded that, according to Dehmlow, multiple personnel on FITF knew that the laptop was real."
When Dehmlow and other FBI officials met with Facebook in another pre-scheduled meeting on October 14, she used the line to shut down questioning about the laptop from an employee of the tech giant.
"In the hours following publication of the Post's story, Twitter blocked the story from being shared, while Facebook deamplified the story, significantly reducing its circulation and prevalence in users' newsfeeds," Jordan wrote, pointing out that, "the FBI's actions prevented millions of Americans from having a clear understanding about a salient issue in the 2020 presidential election."
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