Politico finally conceded that Hunter Biden and his influence peddling, not to mention his laptop, was a genuine story. Business Insider today reports that it’s even more genuine than the New York Post thought. They obtained e-mails from 2015 that reveal Hunter’s attempts to use his influence to unfreeze Libyan assets that the Obama administration locked up after their long-distance overthrow of Moammar Qaddafi. All Hunter wanted for his assistance was, er, a cool two million bucks.
Who had the juice inside the Obama White House to pull that off? The big guy, that’s who, although apparently nothing came of it:
Insider obtained emails indicating that Hunter Biden asked for a $2 million annual retainer plus “success fees” to help unfreeze Libyan assets during the Obama administration. The communications offer “a window into the mechanics of Beltway influence peddling and the stock that was put in Biden’s political connections,” as my colleague writes.
The Obama administration froze up to $15 billion in assets during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. In 2015, long after Gaddafi’s ouster and death, two Democratic donors with business in the Persian Gulf pitched Hunter Biden about joining their cause.
The two donors were frank in discussing Hunter Biden’s connections: “Since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M.Q. [Gaddafi, also spelled Qaddafi] and LIA [Libya Investment Authority] had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there,” Sam Jauhari, one donor, wrote in January 2015 to Mohammed al-Rahbani, another donor.
Nothing appears to have come from the conversations: The White House declined to provide a statement to Insider. An attorney for al-Rahbani said his client “knows to a certainty that he never spoke to and has no recollection of talking about Hunter Biden.”
The rest of the story goes behind the Business Insider firewall, but that’s enough. Let’s start off by assuming that the e-mails are legit. Did Joe Biden and the Obama administration know of Hunter’s activities? Biden keeps claiming that he and his son never talk about the latter’s business affairs, but that’s tough to credit — especially when Hunter keeps venturing into areas like Ukraine and Libya.
Even more to the point, where was the US intel community on this? After all, by 2015 we had already experienced the attack on our consulate in Benghazi and had to deal with the rise of radical-Islamist terror networks in the failed state Obama and Biden created out of Libya. A sudden release of assets to the wrong people there could have fueled an enormous amount of international terrorism, which means our intel groups should have had their ears to the ground on funding discussions like this. Did they pick up Hunter’s attempts to cash in on the situation? And if they did, how far up the chain did it go?
If the e-mails aren’t legit, then there’s no story. But if that’s the case, one has to wonder why the rest of the media shrieked at any mention of Hunter and the laptop, and why Biden and his team have never offered any real response to these issues other than it being some sort of fake news. We’re not getting many more answers, but suddenly we’re getting a lot more questions at the same time that Biden’s standing is collapsing across the board. Hmmm.
Finally, let’s give the last word to the New York Post’s editorial board, which took a very amused — and very belated — victory lap yesterday:
Schreckinger called the White House to check whether, as we reported, Joe Biden met Hunter for a dinner in April 2015 that included Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi. Biden’s team pointed him to a Washington Post “fact check” — which noted that Biden’s team had at first said there was “no record of such a meeting,” until they finally conceded that, yes, Joe did drop in on that dinner. The fact confirmed, the writer still concludes, haughtily, that there’s “less to the story than one might imagine.”
It’s the perfect example of how Democrats weaponize “fact checkers” to deflect criticism and enlist social media to censor articles. Nothing to see here! (See: the Wuhan lab theory.)
Consider the level of skepticism brought to bear here. Biden’s team lied to us but we’ll take them at their word that nothing of consequence happened at this dinner. Email after email, picture after picture are proved authentic from the laptop, but hey, maybe some of it is fake.
The laptop is “unsubstantiated” because the media doesn’t want it substantiated. We figure that won’t change, but thanks, Mr. Schreckinger, for at least bucking the trend.
Maybe it is changing.