Gaetz grills FBI cyber official on laptop, calls for intel officials to lose security clearances

by WorldTribune Staff, March 30, 2022

Under questioning from Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division said he did not know the whereabouts of the Hunter Biden laptop which the FBI seized from a Delaware computer repair shop in December 2019.

After the FBI official, Bryan Vorndran, repeatedly said he did not know where the laptop is, Gaetz pulled out an external hard drive which he said contained the contents of the Biden laptop and successfully entered it into the Congressional Record after initial objections from Democrats.

Rep. Matt Gaetz holds up what he said was a drive containing the contents of the Hunter Biden laptop. / Video Image

Also on Tuesday, Gaetz announced he would introduce legislation, called the “Spook Who Cried Wolf Resolution,” to indefinitely bar security clearances for 51 former U.S. intelligence officials who signed a letter which claimed the Hunter Biden laptop story, first reported by the New York Post, was “Russian disinformation.”

In their public statement dated Oct. 19, 2020, the ex-officials — including five former CIA directors or acting directors — said they didn’t know if the material on the laptop was “genuine” but said its release weeks before the presidential election had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

Several news outlets, including The New York Times, have confirmed the authenticity of the laptop.

During Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Gaetz asked Vorndran where the laptop was. Vorndran replied: “Sir, I’m not here to talk about the laptop. I’m here to talk about the FBI’s cyber program.”

Gaetz said: “You are the assistant director of FBI cyber. I want to know where Hunter Biden’s laptop is. Where is it?”

Vorndran replied: “Sir, I don’t know that answer.”

Gaetz called Vorndran’s claim “astonishing.”

Despite Vorndran insisting the laptop does not fall into his division’s purview, Gaetz pressed on: “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.”

Vorndran said that was an “accurate statement.”

Gaetz responded: “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 referencing a massive cyberattack by a Russian-linked group that took down the largest fuel pipeline in the US in May 2021, temporarily leading to gas shortages and pain at the pump for much of the East Coast.

“So, will you commit to give us a briefing as the assistant director of FBI cyber as to where the laptop is, whether or not it’s a point of vulnerability, whether or not the American people should wonder whether or not the first family is compromised?” Gaetz said.

Vorndran replied: “Sir, I’d be happy to take your requests back to our office.”

During the hearing, Gaetz held up what appeared to be a small external hard drive as he said, “I seek unanimous consent to enter into the record of this committee, the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which I’m in possession of.”

At that time, committee chair Jerry Nadler said, “I’m not –” and paused to confer with an aide, during which another lawmaker said, “There’s no objection to that.”

Nadler then announced, “I will object, pending further investigation.”

“What’s the basis of that objection?” Gaetz shot back.

“It’s a unanimous consent request and I object, pending further investigation,” Nadler said. “It may very well be entered into the record after we have a chance to look at it further.”

Gaetz then asked for and got permission to enter into the record a copy of the receipt issued by the repair shop where the MacBook Pro laptop was dropped off in April 2019.

Nadler also later allowed what Gaetz said were the contents of the laptop into the Congressional Record.

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