The Hunter Biden Mess and What it Means

Mish

Is Hunter Biden guilty of influence peddling? What about Joe Biden?

Plethora of Articles

The Wall Street Journal comments on the The Hunter Biden Business.

Count Sen. Ron Johnson among those not surprised that the press is ignoring a New York Post report about emails said to be from Hunter Biden’s laptop that suggest he introduced his father the Vice President to a representative of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. Or that Twitter and Facebook would run interference for the Bidens by banishing the Post dispatch from their platforms.

Most news accounts dismissed the Senate findings as offering no proof that either Biden did anything criminal. What a low bar. The report mentions, for example, a $100,000 spending spree for Hunter Biden, James Biden (the Vice President’s brother) and Sara Biden (the Vice President’s sister-in-law) financed by Gongwen Dong, a Chinese businessman with ties to China’s largest private oil and gas company.

Reflections on Low Bar 

Not that two wrongs make a right, but a similarly "low bar" got Trump off the hook in the impeachment process also on Ukraine.

This is a legitimate story with important information for voters who are being asked to trust Joe Biden for a return to normalcy. We doubt this is the kind of Washington self-interest and dishonesty as usual that most Americans have in mind.

Disinformation Campaign

The USA Today notes the FBI is Probing a Possible Disinformation Campaign.

Less than three weeks before one of the most contentious presidential campaigns in history, federal authorities are investigating whether the material supplied to the New York Post by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, is part of a smoke bomb of disinformation pushed by Russia.

The gauzy details of the newspaper's account trace the hard drive to a computer repair shop in Delaware, where a laptop had been left for service last year but was never re-claimed by the customer. Exactly how the material moved to Giuliani,who with Trump has long pushed debunked conspiracy theories about the Bidens, has raised as many questions as the authenticity of the laptop data the president's lawyer provided to the tabloid.

After months of investigation, two Republican-led Senate committees unveiled a report in September that found no evidence of wrongdoing or corrupt actions by the former vice president in connection with his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the president and his lawyer seized on the New York Post story, which focused on an email purporting to show an adviser to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma thanking Hunter Biden for arranging a meeting for him with Joe Biden, who was then the vice president.

The story provided no evidence that such a meeting ever occurred and has come under fire for its reliance on questionable sources and documents whose authenticity was not verified. Biden's campaign team told USA TODAY that no meeting ever occurred.

What We Know and Don't Know 

CBS News comments on What we know – and don't know – about Hunter Biden's alleged laptop.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, said his own attorney, Robert Costello, obtained the material from the owner of a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, after Hunter Biden allegedly left it there for months. Giuliani provided the material to the New York Post on Sunday, and the Post began running stories about the supposed documents this week.

But the owner of the computer store, John Paul MacIsaac, was unable and unwilling to answer key questions about how the laptop supposedly arrived in his store, and eventually, how the data was shared with Giuliani. CBS News interviewed MacIsaac for almost two hours on Wednesday and throughout the interview he contradicted himself about his motivations, raising questions about the truthfulness of one of the central figures in the story.

MacIsaac told CBS News he first turned over the hard drive to the FBI last December during the president's impeachment, and provided a copy of its contents to Costello after becoming frustrated by the Senate trial in January. MacIsaac refused to provide key details about his interactions with Giuliani.

Giuliani apparently held the information for months and released it less than three weeks before the election. Giuliani has long been involved in efforts by the president and his allies to highlight Hunter Biden's work overseas to damage Joe Biden and boost Mr. Trump's reelection campaign, and in 2019 met with a Ukrainian lawmaker who has been deemed an "active Russian agent" by the U.S. government.

In December 2019, National Security Advisor chief Robert O'Brien conveyed concerns to President Trump that Giuliani was being targeted by a Russian disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting Joe Biden, current and former advisors in the Trump administration told CBS News' Paula Reid. Giuliani's meeting with the Ukrainian lawmaker - Andriy Derkach - was one of the reasons for those concerns.

CBS News has not seen or corroborated the data supposedly on the hard drive, and Giuliani has declined to allow other news outlets to review the information. 

Second Laptop

The Daily Beast reports Rudy’s ‘Russian Agent’ Pal Teases ‘Second Laptop’ With Hunter Biden Kompromat.

Rudy Giuliani has dismissed concerns that his latest anti-Biden smears are part of a foreign-election interference plot, but a Ukrainian lawmaker recently deemed an “active Russian agent” by the U.S. Treasury is now touting further details to come.

Andrii Derkach, one of the key players in Giuliani’s years-long dirt-digging mission against Joe Biden in Ukraine, piggybacked on the former New York City mayor’s latest Biden smears—supposedly involving a forgotten laptop. Derkach claimed on Facebook that there is a “second laptop” with evidence of corruption involving the Biden family.

The claim appears to muddy the waters around Giuliani’s latest “smoking gun” charge against Hunter Biden. He says they came to light after an obscure Delaware computer repair shop owner found Biden’s laptop in his possession and copied the hard drive before alerting federal authorities and inexplicably Giuliani’s own lawyer. Now, with Derkach jumping in with claims of a “second laptop,” that would mean private computer contents allegedly connected to Hunter Biden have somehow found their way into the hands of three separate parties: A media empire controlled by a Chinese billionaire who’s tight with Steve Bannon; a random Delaware shop owner who is outspoken in his support of Trump; and Derkach, a Ukrainian conspiracy theory peddler who studied at Moscow’s FSB academy.

It has already been reported that Russian intelligence agents successfully hacked into Burisma computer networks last year, although it is not clear how much they were able to access and copy.

Despite what Team Trump would have the public believe is a towering mountain of evidence, neither Joe or Hunter Biden have been charged with any wrongdoing, and Ukrainian prosecutors confirmed months ago that they had found no evidence of any crimes.

What Do You Want to Believe

No matter what you want to believe, you can find an article to support it.

The Daily Beast article even swings both ways.

It Doesn't Matter

I commented on Twitter the other day that none of this matters because it will not change any minds. 

I received replies like this: "So influence peddling is irrelevant to you."

That is sticking words into my mouth that I never said or even implied. 

When Trump was impeached, I called it a witch hunt and advised Democrats against it. 

New Phase of Impeachment: Greatest Witch Hunt in American History

Please recall New Phase of Impeachment: Greatest Witch Hunt in American History

I stated "This looks like a serious mistake by the Democrats. Instead of campaigning for the 2020 elections, Democrats will be howling at the moon with Trump mocking them every step of the way."

The charges against Trump were as serious as the charges against Biden.

A "low bar" got Trump off and it was obvious that was going to happen.

Tax Shenanigans vs Sleaze

Trump's tax shenanigans are a more serious matter. That is a genuine bombshell in which I am sure Trump is guilty.

Regardless, allegations against Biden and Trump are the sleazy things that unfortunately everyone now expects in politicians.

Why Won't Giuliani or the Post Release the Drive?

If there was a true "smoking gun" then in light of early voting, it would be prudent to release the drive, wouldn't it?

Unless of course the intent is to pedal sleaze. 

But sleaze and crimes are different matters.

Not Defending Biden

I am not at all defending Biden, I am saying this doesn't matter. You can argue it "should" matter but that is a different topic.

It Doesn't Matter

This issue is so muddy, so convoluted, and so off topic of voter focus that it just doesn't matter.

Sleazy Setup

  1. Republicans will point to all the Hunter Biden sleaze, and they will be right. 
  2. Democrats and independents will ignore the Hunter Biden sleaze and they will be wrong.
  3. Republicans will ignore Trump's allegedly criminal tax returns. 
  4. Democrats and independents will not ignore Trump's tax returns. 
  5. No one cares anymore about the Democrats impeachment witch hunt.
  6. Democrats will ignore House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's sleazy interview on with Wolf Blitzer four days ago when she lost her cool.

What Does it Mean?

People will ignore sleaze on their guy but not the opponents'. 

It has to be really sleazy to matter and it only impacts those whose minds are not yet made up.

Too Few Minds to Matter

The Hunter Biden sleaze just doesn't matter even if it should. 

Most minds were made up long ago. There are too few minds left to make up to matter.

This is not 2016 when 12% of voters' minds were still not made up yet.

Minds Made Up

  1. Why Trump Will Lose the Election in One Word
  2. Seniors are Another Problem Group for Trump

The one word in point #1 is "women", but seniors are another huge problem for Trump.

My mind is made up too. I refuse to vote for the lesser of corrupt vs more corrupt (no matter of which way it allegedly goes). 

I Endorse Jo Jorgensen for President

Mish

Comments (151)
No. 1-39
Sechel
Sechel

BBC did a breakdown. It's not what you believe. It's what has been proven.

The New York Post article did not provide evidence that the meeting ever took place. The Biden election campaign said there was no record of any such meeting on the former vice-president's "official schedule" from the time.

What are the Bidens accused of in Ukraine?
President Trump and his allies have accused Joe Biden of wrongdoing because he pushed, while vice-president, for the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor, who was investigating the company for which Hunter worked.

In 2016, Joe Biden called for the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, whose office had Burisma and other companies under investigation.

However, other Western leaders and major bodies that give financial support to Ukraine also wanted the prosecutor dismissed because they believed he was not active enough in tackling corruption.

What did this have to do with impeachment?
In 2019, details emerged of a phone call President Trump had made to the president of Ukraine, in which he had urged the Ukrainian leader to investigate the Bidens.

Has anything been proven against the Bidens?
No criminal activity has been proven, and no evidence has emerged that Joe Biden did anything to intentionally benefit his son.

Siliconguy
Siliconguy

I'd be careful throwing around the word criminal while referring to Trump's tax returns. He doesn't do his own taxes, and the law/accounting firm that does would take a dim view of your characterization. Even the Times, who does have their own legal counsel, was very careful to stay with avoidance instead of evasion.

Avoidance is legal, and arguably morally required when you don't agree with where the money is spent.

goldguy
goldguy

I agree, it really does not matter anymore. The rule of law in the USA has expired. What it all boils down to in my mind is do we want a politician? Or do we want someone who isn't a politician. America is sick to death of ALL politicians, that is why Trump is in office. That is why he will be in office for another 4 years.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Mish, your take on this one is precisely correct.

I would only say that Trump calling Biden corrupt......is the best example of a great big giant pot calling the kettle black.....that I ever saw. Trump is so PROFOUNDLY corrupt that I see his finger pointing.....at this point in time ....to be counter-productive to his own cause.

Sechel
Sechel

About the NY Times Trump tax bomb shell. I think the story was poorly done. I follow Francine McKenna and it's hard to see that anything illegal occurred based on the Times reporting. That's not to say it didn't but you don't get there from the article

Rbm
Rbm

the ceo of twitter steps before the senate on the 28th. it would be wonderful if he told told them all to stop lying and big tech would not have to regulate your tweets. Justify it by saying his customers(advertisers) and his product (the people) are not happy and avoiding twitter. There by costing him money. Then stand on religious grounds. Hey it works for business denying services to same sex marriage etc.
personally ill believe the fbi before trump and his lawyer. .

Herkie
Herkie

The only PROVEN characters involved with russian agents are ALL in the Trump camp. Until there is believable evidence otherwise that is where I leave the story. The so called laptop BS is just that, BS! If rudy G. and Steve B. are involved it is simply not on the up and up, those two are more than open about using any sources to smear their opponents and that includes illegally sourced russian intelligence "finds."

It is beneath the dignity of this forum to even ask.

Too much BS
Too much BS

Republicans are on the road to self destruction.

Kimo
Kimo

I'm sorry, if leveraging taxpayer aid to get a prosecutor fired, ends up with taxpayer money worming it's way back into your personal pocket, this is far more serious than asking for evidence of wrong doing from a foreign government on an American citizen who has bragged about the former. Hands down.

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

How media in US debunks clear CORRUPTION by Bidens:

Media does NOT investigate the issues at all and no investigative reporting gets done by media to get the facts and instead media just publishes a Joe Biden campaign statement or some Democrats opinion and calls the claims "debunked" based on that.

American media companies are utterly pathetic.

If similar "debunking" had been done under Nixon then Nixon's denial would have been enough for media to call claims against Nixon "debunked" and not investigate Watergate at all...

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

This USA Today claim is ABSURD:

"After months of investigation, two Republican-led Senate committees unveiled a report in September that found no evidence of wrongdoing or corrupt actions by the former vice president in connection with his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine."

The Republican Senate committees found among other things that Hunter Biden got a 3.5 million dollar wire transfer from wife of Mayor of Moscow and both the Mayor and his wife belong to Putin's corrupt elite and the wife has become a billionaire through corruption.

Why did Moscow mayor's wife send Hunter Biden 3.5 million wire transfer while Joe Biden was Vice-President?

Is this wire transfer the REASON Joe Biden and Barack Obama REFUSED to sell Ukraine arms and missiles to defend itself against Russia?

Trump REVERSED this policy by Obama/Biden and Trump has sold Ukraine arms and Javelin missiles to defend itself with against Russia.

Why has the media NOT investigated anything and instead hush-hushed the Republican led Senate committees reports and barely reported on them?

Greenmountain
Greenmountain

Bottom line - politics is sausage and it is ugly. What ever Hunter did, not as bad as anything Trump's kids have done to advance the Trump name. So it is up to us as Americans to demand better - are we wiling to do that - Really hold your Senator and Rep accountable? I am in. And happy to call them out when ever I think they are selling out.

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

This USA Today reporting is full of LIES:

"The story provided no evidence that such a meeting ever occurred and has come under fire for its reliance on questionable sources and documents whose authenticity was not verified. Biden's campaign team told USA TODAY that no meeting ever occurred."

That is NOT what Biden's campaign said!!!

Biden's campaign said:

"In a statement, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said, “we have reviewed Joe Biden's OFFICIAL SCHEDULES from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”"

"Biden’s campaign would NOT rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of INFORMAL INTERACTION with Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory. Pozharskyi did not respond to a request for comment.

And senior Biden advisers who spoke to POLITICO on Wednesday — including Michael Carpenter and Amos Hochstein, who staffed the vice president at the time — similarly said that while there was never an OFFICIAL MEETING, it's technically conceivable that Pozharskyi would have approached Biden on the sidelines of some broader U.S.-Ukraine event. But they emphasized that they have no indication that happened, and that they had never heard of Pozharskyi before."

USA Today is straight up SPREADING LIES.

No matter how braindead some Democrats believe their voters are and no matter how gullible US media companies believe their readers to be:

Even people of average intellect should realize that IF Vice-President Joe Biden has a CORRUPT arrangement where his son Hunter Biden gets millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian gas and oil company to sit on the board with no experience in oil and gas and no qualifications to sit on the board and Joe Biden INTERFERES in Ukraine's internal politics and law enforcement by demanding the prosecutor looking at Burisma corruption gets fired after THREAT by Joe Biden that Ukraine will NOT get a promised billion dollars in loan guarantees unless the prosecutor is FIRED before Joe Biden's airplane leaves Ukraine then Joe Biden is NOT going to put meeting of that company's representative on his OFFICIAL SCHEDULE.

It is CLEAR that corrupt Burisma BOUGHT Joe Biden through Hunter Biden to protect themselves from corruption investigations.
Burisma was built up as a huge company by it's founder when he was Resources Minister of Ukraine and gave away gas and oil rights all around Ukraine to Burisma and other companies he owned and controlled that later sold those rights to Burisma.

Ukrainian National Wealth was in effect LOOTED to the tune of tens of billions of dollars and this is how Ukraine was put into a desperate position of not having money to pay for their own budget and expenses and this made them reliant on outside funding like the billion dollars Joe Biden used to BLACKMAIL Ukraine.

Later Joe Biden BRAGGED how he BLACKMAILED Ukraine to fire the prosecutor:

Democrats and media truly believe people that American people are IDIOTS.

LawrenceBird
LawrenceBird

If the laptop was real they would have given it to a credible friendly news outlet like the WSJ. They did not.

If the email story at Breitbart were real, the release would have, again, been to a credible news organization, not a right wing blog. Said emails would also have already been subpoenaed for the trial that Hunter is accused of not taking the fall for.

Mish
Mish

Editor

This is NOT about avoidance.
The charges, and I believe them are outright tax fraud.

numike
numike

A federal judge struck down a Trump administration attempt to end food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed people, slamming Trump's Department of Agriculture for failing to justify or even address the impact of the sweeping changes.

njbr
njbr

Given how malleable the DOJ is to Trump's wishes under Barr's leadership, the big clue on the insignificance of this is how little the DOJ has done with this matter since it was raised.

Don't be so gullible. There isn't a Santa Claus here to rescue Donald.

njbr
njbr

.....The New York Post’s own journalists say they are skeptical of the paper’s stories about Hunter Biden, including the man who wrote most of the “smoking gun” story and would not put his name on it, four newsroom sources told Intelligencer.

On Wednesday morning, the Post dropped what it clearly hoped would be a bombshell — an exclusive report based on copies of emails and photos that had supposedly belonged to Hunter, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The Post said the files were recovered from a computer that belonged to Hunter and was dropped off at a computer-repair shop near the Biden family’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, last spring. The shop’s owner, a Trump supporter, gave the files to the president’s consigliere, Rudy Giuliani, who finally delivered them to the Post. The Post has not said publicly whether it authenticated the files.

“I think it was very flimsy,” one Post reporter told Intelligencer.

Another journalist at the paper was even more blunt.

“It’s not something that meets my journalistic standards,” they said, adding that the piece “should not have been published.”

Indeed, reporter Bruce Golding wrote most of the first several stories and refused to put his name on them, according to one source. Golding did not respond to a request for comment. The New York Times first reported Golding’s reluctance on Sunday evening. Golding is a fixture at the paper, sources told Intelligencer, a master of the “rewrite” who can synthesize disparate reporters’ notes into splashy front-page stories written in the tabloid’s distinctive style. His involvement in the Hunter Biden story is not surprising, but his lack of a byline or reporting credit is highly unusual, according to current and former Post journalists....

The paper’s supposed scoop focuses on purported emails that Hunter had exchanged with business associates in Ukraine and China. The emails help to bolster a narrative that Giuliani and other Trump allies have been pushing for years — that Hunter had traded on his famous father’s name to make lucrative overseas business deals. What the Post called a “smoking-gun email” merely showed a Ukrainian executive thanking Hunter for introducing him to his father. (The Biden campaign has said that the meeting did not appear on the vice-president’s official schedule, suggesting that it was either a perfunctory meet-and-greet or that it never occurred.) The campaign has otherwise not commented on the Post story, such as denying whether the files are authentic — a point the Post has used in its defense.

The Post has also indulged in more traditional tabloid fare, publishing what it said were Hunter’s personal photos and messages taken from the drive. These included a photo of Hunter shirtless, a photo of Hunter next to a crack pipe (hardly a scoop given that Hunter has publicly discussed his struggles with drug addiction), a note that Hunter wrote to himself on the anniversary of his brother’s death, and a text-message conversation between Hunter and his father in which the former vice-president insisted that he loved his son unconditionally.

The paper also teased the existence of sexually explicit content on the hard drive, including a “raunchy, 12-minute video that appears to show Hunter, who’s admitted struggling with addiction problems, smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman.” That the Post has so far declined to publish that video suggests that there are at least some ethical lines it is unwilling to cross (or at least that its legal team has advised it not to cross)....

...The internal critics of the Hunter Biden stories have been torn between calling out Twitter’s obvious overreach and defending the paper’s murky reporting. It’s a dilemma familiar to the many Posties who take pride in their work covering the city even as they wince at the paper’s often sycophantic coverage of Trump.

“It just makes you cringe and roll your eyes, and it’s hard to stomach, but at the same time we kind of know that you’re signing up for stuff like that,” one Post reporter said. “It’s upsetting. It’s disappointing. It sucks to, like, work for, like, a propaganda outlet.”

Carl_R
Carl_R

I figure there are three possibilities for the laptop:

  1. It is real. But, this makes no sense. Why would Hunter leave it at a repair shop, and never pick it up?
  2. It is totally fabricated. This makes no sense. If it is, we would see much stronger denials from the Bidens.
  3. It is not real, nor fabricated. It was made up by Russian hackers. After hacking into Burisma, and perhaps other people who Hunter Biden corresponded with, they assembled the other side of the email conversations, and created "Hunter's laptop" from that. This would make it confusing to the Bidens, since it is not genuine, but it is close enough to the truth that it is hard to get a handle on, or to know what else might possibly be on the "laptop" hard drive.

I tend toward explanation #3. That said, I totally agree with Mish on this. It won't make any difference. It doesn't make me think Hunter is any more sleazy than I already thought he was. It certainly doesn't make me think Trump is any less sleazy than I already thought he was. It doesn't change any issue at all.

Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin

Maybe Hunter was on Crack when he had his computer repaired,
and forgot where he left it. Hunter returned a rental car and left a crack pipe ,
and 2 different forged ID documents inside. This is old news.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

New York Post Insiders Slag ‘Very Flimsy’ Hunter Biden Stories
By Peter Sterne

The New York Post’s own journalists say they are skeptical of the paper’s stories about Hunter Biden, including the man who wrote most of the “smoking gun” story and would not put his name on it, four newsroom sources told Intelligencer.

On Wednesday morning, the Post dropped what it clearly hoped would be a bombshell — an exclusive report based on copies of emails and photos that had supposedly belonged to Hunter, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The Post said the files were recovered from a computer that belonged to Hunter and was dropped off at a computer-repair shop near the Biden family’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, last spring. The shop’s owner, a Trump supporter, gave the files to the president’s consigliere, Rudy Giuliani, who finally delivered them to the Post. The Post has not said publicly whether it authenticated the files.

“I think it was very flimsy,” one Post reporter told Intelligencer.

Another journalist at the paper was even more blunt.

“It’s not something that meets my journalistic standards,” they said, adding that the piece “should not have been published.”

Indeed, reporter Bruce Golding wrote most of the first several stories and refused to put his name on them, according to one source. Golding did not respond to a request for comment. The New York Times first reported Golding’s reluctance on Sunday evening. Golding is a fixture at the paper, sources told Intelligencer, a master of the “rewrite” who can synthesize disparate reporters’ notes into splashy front-page stories written in the tabloid’s distinctive style. His involvement in the Hunter Biden story is not surprising, but his lack of a byline or reporting credit is highly unusual, according to current and former Post journalists. The Hunter Biden stories are credited to deputy politics editor Emma-Jo Morris and reporter Gabrielle Fonrouge.

Unlike Golding, Morris has been happy to take credit for the story on Twitter. She’s a relatively recent arrival to the Post, having joined in March from Fox News, where she previously worked as a producer and segment booker. (Fonrouge has worked for the Post since 2014.) On her social-media accounts, she appears friendly with Trump-world figures like Bannon and Giuliani, who said he shopped the hard drive to the Post.

Some Post reporters also suspected the involvement of Col Allan, a veteran of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire who has long guided the Post’s political reporting and is seen by Post insiders as Murdoch’s representative in the newsroom. Allan stepped down as editor-in-chief of the Post in 2016 but returned in a vague advisory role early last year. Allan is said to still play a role in editorial decision-making, particularly when it comes to big politics stories like the Hunter Biden series. The Times reported that Allan urged top editors to move quickly on the story when the files were given to the Post last Sunday by Giuliani.

Giuliani told the Times he sent the purported Biden files to the Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.”

Post reporters who spoke to Intelligencer were not surprised then that the paper published the story, even if they wish that it hadn’t.

“That the Post would go pro-Trump before the election and in the months leading up to it was kind of something I’ve been bracing for and that a lot of the other not-right-wing Post reporters have been bracing for,” the first Post reporter told Intelligencer. “So in a way, it’s not really surprising.”

Since Wednesday, the Post has published more than 50 separate stories and columns tagged “Hunter Biden.”

The paper’s supposed scoop focuses on purported emails that Hunter had exchanged with business associates in Ukraine and China. The emails help to bolster a narrative that Giuliani and other Trump allies have been pushing for years — that Hunter had traded on his famous father’s name to make lucrative overseas business deals. What the Post called a “smoking-gun email” merely showed a Ukrainian executive thanking Hunter for introducing him to his father. (The Biden campaign has said that the meeting did not appear on the vice-president’s official schedule, suggesting that it was either a perfunctory meet-and-greet or that it never occurred.) The campaign has otherwise not commented on the Post story, such as denying whether the files are authentic — a point the Post has used in its defense.

The Post has also indulged in more traditional tabloid fare, publishing what it said were Hunter’s personal photos and messages taken from the drive. These included a photo of Hunter shirtless, a photo of Hunter next to a crack pipe (hardly a scoop given that Hunter has publicly discussed his struggles with drug addiction), a note that Hunter wrote to himself on the anniversary of his brother’s death, and a text-message conversation between Hunter and his father in which the former vice-president insisted that he loved his son unconditionally.

The paper also teased the existence of sexually explicit content on the hard drive, including a “raunchy, 12-minute video that appears to show Hunter, who’s admitted struggling with addiction problems, smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman.” That the Post has so far declined to publish that video suggests that there are at least some ethical lines it is unwilling to cross (or at least that its legal team has advised it not to cross).

This is familiar territory for the Post, which has long mined Hunter’s rocky personal life for content. Back in 2017, the Post’s gossip column “Page Six” broke the news of Hunter’s affair with his late brother’s widow, Hallie. Earlier this year, the paper focused on Hunter’s relationship with a former stripper who sued him for child support.

Beyond the articles about Biden’s purported emails, the Post has published dozens of articles about the fallout from its scoop, with a particular focus on Facebook and Twitter’s attempts to “censor” the paper by limiting or blocking access to the Post article. Facebook said that it would limit the article’s presence in user’s news feeds, while Twitter went much further and locked the Post out of its own Twitter account.

The social-media giants later reversed their stances on the story, but by then they had already turned the Post into a martyr on the right. Conservative politicians have rallied to the paper’s defense. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have accused Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey of “election interference” and promised to subpoena him to testify before Congress. The Post, meanwhile, has covered all of these developments in excruciating detail.

The internal critics of the Hunter Biden stories have been torn between calling out Twitter’s obvious overreach and defending the paper’s murky reporting. It’s a dilemma familiar to the many Posties who take pride in their work covering the city even as they wince at the paper’s often sycophantic coverage of Trump.

“It just makes you cringe and roll your eyes, and it’s hard to stomach, but at the same time we kind of know that you’re signing up for stuff like that,” one Post reporter said. “It’s upsetting. It’s disappointing. It sucks to, like, work for, like, a propaganda outlet.”

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Turns out the person with the byline to the New York Post story use to work for...wait for it..........Sean Hannity.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Mish the difference now is we know Trump and Rudy are fine with using Russian agents. Are you seriously thinking this is the on the same level of anything that Hunter or Joe Biden EVER did ? Trump deserved to be impeached based on the redacted portions of the Senate Intelligence Report. The CIA, NSA and FBI are still listening to everything the Trump family is doing for good reason. They know we have a treasonous President. Just wait and see what happens after Trump gets removed from office. The evidence is damning. These Republicans were stupid to go along with the Trump charade.

Webej
Webej

Virtually all the talk about disinformation is itself disinformation.

All the BS about the authenticity of the emails is bogus:
It's trivially easy to test the DKIM hashes in the headers.

Sechel
Sechel

It's very clear that other than the die hard base and those that live in the NY Post and Gateway Pundit that this is a non-story. Those people were already voting for Trump. Trump showed his cards long ago when he went Rudy to Ukraine and the country was exposed to it. Rudy sat on his "research" and now puts it out for an October Surprise. The only people surprised are Trump and Rudy who can't understand why nobody is paying attention

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

2020 needs a reminder of 1992. It's the economy stupid...

People are hurting.

Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon

If Giuliani has the drive that purportedly is showing Hunter Biden raping Chinese children and chooses to release it, it's "game over" IMO.

Herkie
Herkie

Bill Palmer said it better than I could today. https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/laptop-donald-trumps/33283/

By the way, I just voted in Florida for Biden, and on the Veterans Parkway there were about 80 cars in a convoy with Biden flags and signs honking and getting out the vote.

Herkie
Herkie

Had a few snotty comments about being "stuck on that russia thing," Yes I am and for those who like to pretend it is not real you are traitors to your nation, and the truth WILL come out once Trump is no longer in office to bury it.

In the meanwhile here is the actual Justice Department report on the indictments against russian troll farm employees that were identified (so far) as actually hacking and spreading malware and FSB disinformation, and who did billions in real damages:

Read it and freaking weep, and know that we KNOW you are liars!

pretax
pretax

So sleep Joe has become dodgy Joe. A BIG disappointment for floating voters flirting with the idea of voting democrat. There will be enough of them to turn this election thus the mad media smoke-screen and cover-up.
It all boils down to 'Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.'

CountryOf Fools
CountryOf Fools

We support evil in our politicians. We deserve what we get. I feel sorry for our children's future.

Gordionknot
Gordionknot

I have been amused with all the hysteria on the sinking Titanic of the left! A sea of liberal tears awaits Mish and all the pundits of wall street who desperately hope to resurrect globalization! Nationalism has won, again. Make America our focus. Let's build factories here. Let's create jobs here. Let's create American prosperity! A rising tide will lift all boats. The October surprise is a knock out. President Trump deserves four more years. We need to dismantle the propaganda of the media conglomerates and the censorship of social(socialist) media platforms. End the dictatorship of stupid ideas like global warming, medical martial law, forced vacinnation, and the eugenics of Bill Gates. I would like to end surveillance capitalism and break up the tech giants with antitrust legislation. Free Americans from Big Brother Socialism!

jerrykeyes
jerrykeyes

Mish, you are biased. I will no longer read your articles.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I really don't dive a damn if Trump paid zero taxes.
I do care that he illegally paid family and took a total writeoff that wasn't.

People should focus on the fraud, not the avoidance BS

Eagleson
Eagleson

Is time for the leftards to start screaming,,Russians,Russians again....but FBI and DOJ seams to disagree. The elephant is on the middle of the room...How a son of vice president get a job in a corrupted gas company while Ukraine was in mid of a war and his father in charge on the policies of that country? If you cannot connect the dots , I am sorry but your partisanship is blocking your vision

Sechel
Sechel

Do a search right now on this website for Giuliani and Borat.

Don't ask.

Just do it.

Carl_R
Carl_R

I can't seem to find any denial from Hunter that the laptop is his. Not that it matters. I think we all know that Hunter is sleazy. We also know Trump is very, very sleazy. Thus, a little more sleaze in the race means nothing. Yawn.