For years, Republican lawmakers have sought Hunter Biden's travel records as part of a larger review of Biden's use of Secret Service protection while his father was vice president. But the Secret Service claimed it was unable to identify any such communications for several years during which Biden received Secret Service protection, frustrating those efforts.
However, emails from Hunter Biden's laptop confirm that the Secret Service did coordinate Biden's travel during the years for which the Secret Service told Republican senators they could not find such communications.
On Jan. 18, 2022, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) wrote to the director of the Secret Service, requesting that the agency produce records "involving Hunter Biden and his use of government-sponsored travel while he conducted private business." Their letter complained that records previously provided to Congress contained inappropriate redactions and asked for unredacted copies of those documents. The lawmakers also demanded an explanation for why the Secret Service "did not provide any communication records for the years of 2010, 2011, and 2013."
Secret Service Director James M. Murray wrote back to the senators on Feb. 14: "The Secret Service worked extensively with your committees, and agreed to search parameters provided by your office as to identify communications regarding Mr. Biden's travel.
"These search parameters did not yield communications for the years 2010, 2011, or 2013," Murray said.
But dozens of email records reported by Just the News appear to contradict what the Secret Service told Grassley and Johnson.
For example, Secret Service records show that between May 15 and May 17, 2011, Biden took a trip to Mexico with Secret Service protection. The plans for that trip were discussed ahead of time in communications between the then-vice president's son and Secret Service agents, Just the News reveals.
“Hunter, when you have some free time, I would like to discuss the Monterrey trip with you,” Secret Service agent Yvonne DiCristoforo wrote to Biden on April 28, 2011.
"I have some specific information to provide you that we received from our Mexico City office,” she added. “I know you are out of the office this evening, but if you could contact me at your convenience, I would appreciate it."
The email was contained on a Hunter Biden laptop that is now in FBI custody, Just the News reported. It was one of five dozen emails reviewed by the outlet that show Biden communicating with his Secret Service handlers, including in the years for which the Secret Service did not hand over records.
Some of the emails Just the News reported included subject lines like "upcoming trip" or "all checked in," that clearly identify them as emails related to Biden's travel.
The Secret Service did not respond when asked why these communications were not turned over to the senators.
In statements to Just the News, both Grassley and Johnson sharply criticized the Secret Service for failing to produce these emails.
"For years, Sen. Johnson and I have been trying to get a clear picture of Hunter Biden's communications with the Secret Service when he was under their protection," Grassley said. "The Secret Service says they don’t have records for three years during Hunter Biden's time as a protectee, but I have reason to believe they do.
"In fact, I suspect there was also communication between Secret Service employees and Hunter Biden even after his protection ended. The Secret Service needs to come clean, and I intend to get to the bottom of this discrepancy."
Johnson demanded that the agency "immediately produce all records responsive to our October 2020 request or explain to us why the agency did not retain records it is required by law to retain."
"The Secret Service’s inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to comply with my requests for records relating to Hunter Biden is unacceptable," he said. "We now know that Hunter Biden's laptop contained records that the Secret Service claimed they did not possess and therefore failed to produce to me and Senator Grassley. I can think of only two explanations for their lack of compliance, either the Secret Service is incompetent or it is corrupt."
Just the News obtained the emails from a laptop a Delaware repair shop owner said was abandoned by Hunter Biden in 2019. The New York Post was the first to report that this laptop had been seized by the FBI in December 2019. The content of some of the emails stored on it suggested that the Biden family, including then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, had been involved in corrupt business dealings with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company, which prompted Republican lawmakers to investigate the matter.
When the New York Post first broke the Hunter Biden laptop story, mainstream media outlets including the New York Times attempted to discredit the paper's reporting as Russian disinformation. Even though the Post's reporting was confirmed by the Daily Caller in October 2020, the Times did not recognize the authenticity of Biden's emails until Wednesday, March 17, 2022.