Politics Hunter Biden's laptop: A Russian trick, a hack-job — or just what it looks like?

17:55  19 october  2020
17:55  19 october  2020 Source:   thehill.com

The FBI is investigating whether purported Hunter Biden-Burisma emails were part of a foreign intelligence operation

  The FBI is investigating whether purported Hunter Biden-Burisma emails were part of a foreign intelligence operation The news comes shortly after it was reported that one of the sources of the emails, Rudy Giuliani, was a target for Russian intelligence.The emails first surfaced in a dubious and widely discredited story from the New York Post this week purporting to feature "smoking-gun" emails showing the Burisma executive discussing with Hunter the prospect of meeting his father, Joe Biden, when Biden was vice president in 2015.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says that Hunter Biden ' s laptop is NOT part of a Russian disinformation campaign but says it IS in the hands And we have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff, or any member of Congress that Hunter Biden ' s laptop is part of some Russian

Facebook and Twitter are trying to avoid repeating the 2016 misinformation disaster, but haven’t totally figured out how.

If the stakes were not high, it would be a laugh-riot to listen to people who relied on the Steele dossier in an Intelligence Community assessment, and in four sworn FISA warrant applications, going on now about the Biden laptop being a "Russian disinformation" hoax.

Hunter Biden, Joe Biden are posing for a picture: Hunter Biden's laptop: A Russian trick, a hack-job — or just what it looks like? © Getty Images Hunter Biden's laptop: A Russian trick, a hack-job — or just what it looks like?

But let's be serious about authenticity for a second.

In a court of law, even in a criminal case where a person's liberty is at stake, there is a presumption in favor of admitting relevant evidence as long as it appears to be what the proponent represents it to be.

Fact check: Viral video of Joe Biden on running for Senate is missing context

  Fact check: Viral video of Joe Biden on running for Senate is missing context A viral Facebook video claiming Joe Biden said he was running for Senate has been altered and leaves out key words. We rate it missing context.A viral 12-second clip on Facebook is now being used to claim that the former vice president got confused about which office he was seeking in the 2020 election.

Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.” Joe Biden , like Barack Obama, is a treasonous criminal who abuses power for his own personal gain.

' Hunter Biden ' s laptop is a disaster for the entire Biden family, but especially for his father, Joe. Steve Bannon said everything found on Hunter Biden ' s lap top is true as he claims: 'Absolutely the meetings happened. This is not off of some Russia intelligence operation.

That is, the evidence is put before the jury. Lingering questions about its provenance go to the weight of the evidence - meaning, how much, if any, importance we should ascribe to it. They do not result in the suppression of the evidence.

The most salient consideration in analyzing the authenticity of an item is the item itself.

I do not mean to dismiss such circumstances as the biases of the source of the evidence, the chain of custody, the opportunities there have been to tamper with it, and any indication that it has been tampered with in some way. To be sure, all of these indicators can be significant. In some situations, they can be so significant that the proffered item should be given no probative weight.

What I mean is that if the item itself does not appear to be what its proponent represents it to be, the inquiry is at an end. The item would be rejected because of its own innate fraudulence. There would be no need to expend effort to investigate its sourcing - except, perhaps, to pursue a case of fraud against the proponents, if the matter were grave enough.

Journalist blasts the media's 'silence' around Hunter Biden scandal

  Journalist blasts the media's 'silence' around Hunter Biden scandal Journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized journalists and the media on Monday evening by questioning why more coverage was not dedicated to Hunter Biden's alleged emailsOn Monday night, Greenwald unleashed a Twitter thread that questioned why media outlets weren't pursuing the reported details.

Hunter Biden sent "thousands of dollars" to people who appear to be involved in the sex industry, according to a report released by Senate The report claims unspecified records show that Biden “has sent funds to non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine

Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden , to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to e-mails obtained by The Post.

Most alarming about the way materials from the alleged Hunter Biden laptop have been sloughed off by Biden supporters and their media (including social media) allies has been the resistance - no pun intended - to analyzing the substance of the emails and photos themselves. Instead, we get caterwauling about "Russian disinformation" and "hacked materials," as if these knee jerk allegations were not just pertinent but dispositive on the matter of authenticity.

That is absurd.

The fact that Russians or Russian-sourced information are somehow attendant to documents or photos does not automatically make those materials Russian disinformation. It could be true information from or about Russians. Often, even the hostile Russian regime communicates to us things that are authentic precisely because they are authentic, and having to deal with them creates problems for our country.

FBI has taken possession of Hunter Biden's laptops

  FBI has taken possession of Hunter Biden's laptops The FBI has seized Hunter Biden's laptops and has supported Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's claims on Monday that the emails are not part of a Russian disinformation campaign. It's simply not true.'However he also said that the FBI, which is part of the intelligence community, was in possession of Hunter Biden's laptop.'The FBI has had possession of this,' Ratcliffe said. 'Without commenting on any investigation that they may or may not have, their investigation is not centered around Russian disinformation and the intelligence community is not playing any role with respect to that.

Biden ’ s supporters in the media have insisted that the former VP was just one of many international voices calling for the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to be fired When the store owner realized the laptop contained Hunter Biden ’ s emails and photos, he alerted federal authorities, who seized it in December.

Another key finding suggests that " Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an Hunter Biden ' s work with Burisma Holdings was highly criticized behind closed doors when his father was Vice President.

Other times, in a compendium of information, the Russians might seed a few fabricated items, although most of the information will be authentic. That makes the disinformation harder to spot, and thus more effective. But we don't dismiss the whole package because some of it may be corrupt. We analyze it more carefully.

Much of the time, though, the fact that Russians are somehow involved is just tangential or irrelevant. That appears to be the case with the alleged Biden materials. It is said that the president's private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani (who hired me as a U.S. prosecutor many years ago), was dealing with people suspected of Kremlin ties when he investigated the Bidens' business and political activities in Ukraine. Even if that's true - and we don't know that it is - what that has to do with a laptop apparently left by Hunter Biden in a Delaware repair shop is not obvious. (By contrast, it's not surprising that one tracking down shady doings, as Giuliani was doing, would have to deal with shady people.)

As President Reagan famously said when dealing with the Kremlin, "Trust everybody but cut the cards."

Hunter Biden's ex-partner says Joe Biden was involved in China deal

  Hunter Biden's ex-partner says Joe Biden was involved in China deal Tony Bobulinski told the New York Post on Wednesday that he personally witnessed Joe Biden discuss business deals with his son, Hunter, contradicting claims by the former vice president. 'I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business.‘I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.

As vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire Lutsenko’ s predecessor, Viktor Shokin, who So that' s what I've found. What, if any, evidence is there that Hunter Biden was in fact under This sounds like inference, which I and other NS have repeatedly been told is unacceptable when applied

Joe Biden is the person referred to as the 'the big guy' who would receive 10 percent equity in a deal with a Chinese energy firm, as referenced in Democrats accusing Giuliani of peddling 'misinformation' and 'parading around with a Russian agent'. The Chinese emails focus on Hunter ' s dealings with Ye

As suggested above, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, congressional Democrats and the legacy press knew for dead certain that the Steele dossier was Clinton campaign-sponsored political opposition research, sourced to Russians - a key one of whom, we now know, was suspected by the FBI of being a Kremlin asset. Far from the information being dismissed out of hand, we were taken by the media-Democratic complex on a four-year "collusion" ride.

The "don't rely on hacked information" claim is even more ludicrous. There is no evidence the Biden materials were hacked. At the moment, the evidence is that the laptop was taken to a repair shop and then abandoned - entirely plausible, given that the shop was in Delaware, which is Biden-central, and Hunter Biden's behavior is notoriously erratic because of his admitted drug abuse. The hard drive wasn't hacked; it was quite intentionally given to the shopkeeper.

More to the point, even if the information had been hacked, that would not make it inauthentic. The reason hacking is a serious offense that causes humiliation and wreaks financial and privacy havoc is because it exposes true information. The hacked Democratic National Committee emails were a problem for Democrats in 2016 because they were real. Media outlets published stories about them, and the Obama administration confronted the Russian regime over them, because the emails were authentic. Hacking is a bad thing ... but there's nothing about it that makes the stolen information suspect. It's bad for the opposite reason.

Leaked files show years of Hunter Biden's business dealings

  Leaked files show years of Hunter Biden's business dealings A tranche of emails, texts, and business documents released by Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski reveal a complicated web of foreign figures, all of whom trade off access to the former vice president or off the Biden family name. © Provided by Washington Examiner The hundreds of files, which were shared with the Washington Examiner, detail the inner workings of how Hunter Biden’s former business partners, Bobulinksi and James Gilliar, routinely pitched deals with their firm as politically advantageous due to their relationships with the Biden family.

As we've noted, though, first and foremost in any authenticity examination is the item itself. Here, we have thousands of Biden photographs and videos that plainly appear to be real. The emails make contextual sense, and they fit what is known about Hunter Biden's business activity (about which a great deal of investigative journalism has been done, most effectively by Peter Schweizer). According to Fox News, one unidentified participant in an email about Hunter's Chinese business dealings has acknowledged the email's authenticity.

Most significantly, neither Hunter Biden nor the Biden campaign has claimed the materials are fabricated. To the contrary, when initially asked about an email indicating that Joe Biden, as vice president, met with an executive of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that was lavishly paying Biden's son, the Biden campaign's reaction was to check the former vice president's official calendar - after which the campaign first lamely said there was no notation of any such meeting, and then meekly admitted that Biden might well have met with the Burisma executive.

But notice what they didn't say: Nobody claimed there was no need to check any official calendar because the email was a fake. They assumed it was authentic, because there was no good reason not to.

And do you think the FBI and the Delaware U.S. attorney's office issued a grand jury subpoena for the laptop because they thought the whole thing was a fabrication? Maybe ... and maybe pigs can fly.

At the moment, the known evidence overwhelmingly tends to establish that the laptop is exactly what it is represented to be: the repository of Hunter Biden's authentic emails, documents, photos and videos. The claims that it may be Russian disinformation, or should be dismissed because of "hacking," are frivolous.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at National Review Institute, a contributing editor at National Review, and a Fox News contributor. His latest book is "Ball of Collusion." Follow him on Twitter @AndrewCMcCarthy.

Questions Joe Biden Hasn't Yet Answered About Hunter Biden Controversy .
With less than two weeks remaining until Election Day, several questions remain about Joe Biden's alleged involvement in his son's overseas business dealings.During Thursday's final presidential debate, Joe Biden continued his blanket denials of any wrongdoing, supported by a Republican-led corruption investigation that concluded last month. According to the report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Committee on Finance, there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden in connection to his son's business dealings while the elder Biden served as vice president.

usr: 1
This is interesting!