Well well well well well. Seventeen months ago, the New York Post got banned from Twitter and Facebook for reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Now the New York Times reports that the Department of Justice continues to investigate the First Son over foreign influence peddling, and almost as an aside notes that the Post had it right all along. The e-mails weren’t “Russian disinformation,” as Joe Biden claimed, but legit:
People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, Mr. Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity. Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.
In some of the emails, Mr. Biden displayed a familiarity with FARA, and a desire to avoid triggering it.
Obtained by the NYT? Ahem, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The e-mails also implicate “my guy,” AKA Joe Biden:
In one email to Mr. Archer in April 2014, Mr. Biden outlined his vision for working with Burisma. In the email, Hunter Biden indicated that the forthcoming announcement of a trip to Ukraine by Vice President Biden — who is referred to in the email as “my guy,” but not by name — should “be characterized as part of our advice and thinking — but what he will say and do is out of our hands.”
The announcement “could be a really good thing or it could end up creating too great an expectation. We need to temper expectations regarding that visit,” Hunter Biden wrote.
Vice President Biden traveled to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, about a week after the email.
In the same April 2014 email, Hunter Biden indicated that Burisma’s officials “need to know in no uncertain terms that we will not and cannot intervene directly with domestic policymakers, and that we need to abide by FARA and any other U.S. laws in the strictest sense across the board.”
Yeah, but …
In another set of emails examined by prosecutors, Hunter Biden and Mr. Archer discussed inviting foreign business associates, including a Burisma executive, to a dinner in April 2015 at a Washington restaurant where Vice President Biden would stop by. It is not clear whether the Burisma executive attended the dinner, although the vice president did make an appearance, according to people familiar with the event.
The New York Times report omits one point about Hunter’s laptop. Not once — not once — does their report mention the New York Post having scooped them by almost two years on this story. The story only mentions the laptop once, with a link to a NYT piece in October 2020 that sounded at least somewhat skeptical of the Post’s reporting on the laptop.
Suddenly, it’s been whitewashed into a NYT scoop seventeen months after the NY Post first reported on it. Journalism!
This “scoop” might also explain a rather bizarre moment at the White House yesterday. While celebrating a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, Joe Biden took a moment out to note that “everybody knows someone somewhere along the line” who has been victimized by revenge porn. That seems like a very unusual assumption, but perhaps Biden does know someone who’s “intimate images” got shared.
Someone really close, in fact:
Biden discusses "a new civil rights cause of action."
"I bet everybody knows somebody…that in an intimate relationship, what happened was the guy takes a revealing picture of his naked friend, or whatever, in a compromising position and then blackmails…" pic.twitter.com/grsZSN0lKW
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 16, 2022
RedState’s Nick Arama thinks he knows who it is. Last August, a Daily Mail video showed Hunter Biden talking with an alleged sex worker about the potential for Russian blackmail after his sex tapes got stolen:
The president’s son told the prostitute that the allegedly stolen laptop was also full of compromising sex videos.
‘They have videos of me doing this,’ he said, referring to the filmed sex he just finished. ‘They have videos of me doing crazy f***ing sex f***ing, you know.
‘My computer, I had taken tons of like, just left like that cam on. And he would always put in a passcode and all that, you know what I mean? It was f***ing crazy sh**. And somebody stole it during that period of time. He did all this kind of like pretend search and sh**.
The prostitute asked Hunter if he was worried the Russian alleged thieves would try to ‘blackmail’ him.
Hunter replied: ‘Yeah in some way yeah.’
‘My dad [inaudible] running for president,’ he told her in a hushed voice. ‘He is. I talk about it all the time.
‘If they do, he also knows I make like a gazillion dollars.’
Could this have been a clumsy attempt by Biden and his White House to turn the laptop story into a revenge-porn narrative and make the Bidens victims? That would be a rather threadbare effort, and it won’t work in any case given the sudden refocus on Hunter Biden’s profiteering off of The Big Guy. However, since we’re talking about the Biden White House, such an incompetent attempt would fit right into their usual modus operandi.
At any rate, the New York Post is owed a raft of apologies. First from the NYT for failing to even note that they first reported on these e-mails seventeen months ago, and then from every social media platform that derailed their attempts to draw attention to a legitimate news story about corruption involving high-ranking public officials.
And now, the question will be whether Hunter and his associates will get the full Paul Manafort treatment from the DoJ. The situations are quite similar; both feature connected people attempting to leverage their political connections for corrupt foreign wealth without properly alerting the US to their status as foreign agents. And one has to wonder just how much “The Big Guy” personally benefited from this subsidiary of Biden Inc.
Update: Andy McCarthy offers the sound of one hand clapping for the NYT “scoop” and their attempt to bury the lede:
It was impossible to stifle a laugh this morning, then, upon noticing that the Times’ deeply interred mention of the laptop includes the claim that the Hunter emails “were obtained by the New York Times.” The paper also helpfully links to another of its reports which, even after being updated in September 2021 (i.e., five months after Hunter himself conceded that the computer “absolutely” might be his), continued to question the authenticity of the computer that “purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden” and to spout the “concerns over Russian disinformation.” (See also Isaac Schorr’s report, noting that the Times was still labeling the Biden laptop story “unsubstantiated” in September 2021.)
There are other laugh-out-loud aspects of the new Times reporting. Take the lede-burying headline, which begins “Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill” — probably the least relevant detail in the story but one that gets heavy emphasis — before acknowledging that a “Broad Federal Investigation Continues.” We are reminded that, after the election of course, Hunter grudgingly acknowledged being under a tax investigation. As I’ve pointed out, that was no revelation at all — it had long been public knowledge that liens were placed on some of Hunter’s property holdings for non-payment of taxes. The Times now informs us, however, of the supposedly salient fact that Hunter has recently paid his back-taxes . . . though the paper subsequently concedes that this has no legal bearing on the question of whether he committed tax fraud and that such payments are more relevant on the matter of sentencing than guilt.
The real lede here isn’t that Hunter paid taxes, but that the DoJ is very interested in all the corruption that the New York Post exposed:
Prosecutors are examining the intriguing streams of payments to Hunter by the Ukrainian energy company (Burisma), the Chinese conglomerate (CEFC — see my column, here), and a “company associated with a Kazakh oligarch.”
Prosecutors are scrutinizing Hunter’s business partnership with Devon Archer, who was recently sentenced on a felony securities fraud violation. (As I’ve recounted, another Biden business associate, Bevan Cooney, was also convicted. The Biden name featured in the evidence, but Hunter was not charged — though he did complain about Archer and the complications the case was causing him in the aforementioned digital recording.)
Prosecutors are looking into Hunter’s dealings with Blue Star Strategies, a super-connected Democratic consulting firm retained by Burisma while Hunter sat on the latter’s board (see our Caroline Downey’s June 2021 report on that DOJ investigation).
All that and FARA, too. Biden Inc has a lot of fingers …
Update: Via Twitchy, we’re not necessarily seeing apologies, but at least some are acknowledging the faceplant:
Everyone saw this coming but the "journalists." https://t.co/Mmm2B1Oxf3
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) March 17, 2022
Those who didn’t see it coming didn’t want to see it coming:
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) March 17, 2022