Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop is genuine, but senior Democrats and intelligence officials who called it a Russian operation in 2020 – and thus fooled voters – are now shirking responsibility for promoting the false narrative.
In the week since the liberal New York Times acknowledged that the late-authenticated emails and other files from Hunter Biden’s laptop, most of the officials and media organizations that blamed Moscow for the story during the 2020 presidential campaign refuse to refuse comment or to acknowledge that they were either wrong or false.
The laptop left by Hunter Biden at a computer repair shop in Delaware in 2019 contained a lot of emails and other files with detailed information about his business relations in Ukraine and China, information that involved his father in some of his businesses. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, procured the hard drive and handed it to The New York Post.
At the time, The Post was largely alone in publishing the story amid a storm of condemnation from Democrats and other media and a news blackout of the report from Big Tech platforms like Facebook.
President Biden, who called the laptop story “garbage” during his second debate with Mr. Trump in October 2020, has not said a word publicly about his son’s portable files being verified by the liberal world record newspaper. The White House did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Times.
“I’m a spokesman for the United States. [Hunter Biden] does not work for the United States, ”White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently told reporters in response to a question about the laptop.
Former National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper and former CIA Director John O. Brennan also did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Times. They were among 51 U.S. intelligence officials, including former CIA chief Leon E. Panetta, who issued a statement on October 11, 2020, claiming that the report on laptops had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian intelligence operation.”
Although the former intelligence chiefs at the time acknowledged that they had no evidence of Russian involvement, they said: “Our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.
“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we strongly believe that Americans need to be aware of this,” they said.
Russell Travers, a former acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, was the only person contacted by The Washington Times to offer a defense for having signed the declaration.
“I worked with Soviet / Russian issues for the first 20 years of my career and saw their disinformation efforts have devastating effects across the globe,” Mr Travers said. “As I believe the letter suggested, this had all the hallmarks of such an effort. And especially given the Giuliani connection / track record and his problems with the Russians, I certainly felt this was a cautious, cautionary warning.”
He added: “I also welcome the fact that the investigative journalism is coming to the truth, no matter where it may lead.”
Mr. Clapper told The New York Post that he stands by the statement he signed with the other former intelligence officials.
“I think it was appropriate to sound such a warning at the time,” said Mr. Clapper.
Hunter Biden has reportedly paid around $ 1 million in tax liabilities, while a grand jury is gathering evidence in a broad investigation of his international business. The investigation includes suspected criminal violations of tax laws as well as foreign lobbying and money laundering rules, according to reports.
A lawyer for Hunter Biden did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Lawyers for Hunter Biden said in October 2019 that he undertook his business activities in Ukraine independently.
“He did not think it was appropriate to discuss them with his father, nor did he,” they said in a statement.
At the time when the laptop’s discovery became public in the fall of 2020, liberal news media hammered on the theme that it was a product of Trump agents who were either tricked by Russians or were collaborators with Moscow in an attempt to undermine Mr. Bidens campaign. Liberal-speaking heads took up the shout.
“It’s so obviously a Russian operation,” MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson said at the time. Mr. Johnson did not respond to a request for comment this week.
During the second presidential debate, Mr. Trump to raise the issue of laptop while moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News steered the discussion toward topics of race.
“It’s the laptop from hell,” said Mr. Trump. “The laptop from hell.”
Ms. Welker admonished him, “President Trump, we’re talking about race right now, and I want to talk about race.”
Mr. Biden interjected, with the moderator’s approval, “Look, there are 50 former national intelligence officers who said that what this, [what] he accuses me of is a Russian plan. They have said that this has all the characteristics – four, five former leaders of the CIA, both parties – say that what he is saying is a lot of rubbish. Nobody believes in it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani. “
Mr. Trump replied, “You mean the laptop is now another ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’ scam?… You have to have fun here. Then we’ll go with Russia again.”
Former Attorney General William Barr said this week that he believes Mr Biden and others were trying to mislead the public at the time.
“I was very upset during the debate when candidate Biden lied to the American people about the laptop,” Mr. Barr on Fox News. “He is clearly confronted with the laptop and he suggested it was Russian misinformation and pointed to the letter written by some intelligence people who was baseless which he knew was a lie. I was shocked by that.”
Mr. Barr noted that the Trump-appointed Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe at the time stated that the report on laptops was not Russian disinformation. He said the FBI also denied the allegation.
“The media ignored it,” he said. Barr. “So when you talk about interfering in an election, I can think of nothing more than that.”
In an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” two weeks before the presidential election, Mr. Trump problem with the laptop with interviewer Lesley Stahl.
“Sorry, they found the laptop. Lesley. Listen,” Mr. Trump said. Ms. Stahl repeatedly replied that the laptop could not be “verified,” so the network did not cover the story.
“What can not be verified?” asked Mr. Trump.
“The laptop,” Mrs. Stahl replied.
When The New York Times verified the information about the laptop 17 months later, Mr. Trump: “‘The New York Times just admitted that they participated in an attempt to manipulate the election for Joe Biden.”
Republican lawmakers say the public should be outraged by the development. Late. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, targeted news media and Big Tech for self-censoring history in 2020. Twitter and Facebook blocked The New York Post’s articles online before the election.
“The mainstream media, their bias, their corruption, their complicity in the Russian coordination scam, interfered in our election,” Mr Johnson told host John Catsimatidis on WABC 77-AM. “Had a far greater influence on our choices than anything Russia or China could ever hope to achieve. But they are never held accountable because they have to hold themselves accountable, and they are not going to do that.”
He compared Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Russian state media officials who suppress information about the war in Ukraine.
“These are Big Tech billionaires,” Mr Johnson said. “You go to Ukraine, and the complaint is always about media oligarchs corrupting the political process in Eastern European countries. We have our own media oligarchs. We just called them Big Tech billionaires. They are far more powerful than any media oligarchs in Russia or Eastern Europe. “Look at the repression. The censorship. The bias. We have Big Tech billionaires. And they influence and interfere dramatically in our politics.”
While chairing the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Mr. Johnson Hunter Biden’s $ 50,000 a month job at Ukrainian energy company Burisma. He said the FBI must also have known the laptop was genuine. The owner of the computer repair shop reported the laptop to the FBI, who seized the device.
“The FBI needed to know that,” he said. “They would not tell us when we were offered the laptop. I could not handle it because I had to do my due diligence. The FBI knew it. We reached out to the FBI. They would not tell us that it was genuine. They should have. But they did not. People should be indignant. “
Late. Tom Cotton, the Republican in Arkansas, said Big Tech’s censorship of the 2020 laptop report was “a disgrace.”
“For decades, the Biden family has served in Joe’s government service,” tweeted Mr. Cotton. “Even today, Hunter Biden gets paid millions for his ‘work of art’ in a corrupt event blessed by the White House.”
Late. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, said in a Twitter post that news media censorship helped Mr. Bid to win the presidency. He said the New York Times article “confirmed what many of us already knew: the Democrats and their allies in the media and Big Tech conspired to cover up the Hunter Biden story to help @joebiden win a presidential election.”
In one of Hunter Biden’s emails to business partner Devon Archer in 2014, when Mr. Biden was vice president, Hunter Biden said that his father’s waiting trip to Ukraine should be “characterized as part of our advice and thinking – but what he will say and do is out of our hands. “
Mr. Biden traveled to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, about a week later.
In another set of emails investigated by prosecutors, The New York Times reported, Hunter Biden and Archer discussed inviting foreign business associates, including a Burisma director, to a dinner in April 2015 at a restaurant in Washington where Mr. The bite would look past. The vice president showed up, the newspaper reported.
Archer was last month sentenced to one year in federal prison for an independent securities fraud conviction.
Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski has said he met Mr. Biden in 2017, when he and Hunter Biden discussed their business deals in China. Mr. Bobulinski has called Mr. Biden’s claims that he never discussed business with Hunter “an obvious lie.”
He has provided The Wall Street Journal with emails and text messages from his time as CEO of SinoHawk Holdings, a company between Bidens and CEFC China Energy. Mr. Bobulinski has called the allegations of Russian disinformation “offensive” and at the time presented documents suggesting that Hunter Biden cashed in the family name and that his father was involved.