The New York Post’s bombshell expose, featuring emails, text messages and photographs from a computer that reportedly belonged to Hunter Biden, allegedly implicates Vice President Joe Biden in criminal activity just two weeks before Election Day.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook were widely condemned for putting up a warning and attempting to limit access to several New York Post articles written about the subject. Twitter claimed the articles violated policy regarding “hacked” material — even though there is no evidence that the material was hacked. At the time of this writing, the New York Post’s Twitter account remains locked.
Democrat politicians and pundits have also rushed to the Biden team’s defense, stating that the material is obvious Russian disinformation. Several federal sources with direct knowledge of the situation, however, have confirmed that the photos and texts printed by the New York Post are in fact genuine and corroborated. They have also confirmed the existence of federal investigations into a number of subjects related to the reports.
Additionally, the Director of National Intelligence has now revealed that there is no evidence or intelligence that Hunter Biden’s laptop or its contents are part of a Russian disinformation campaign. It should also be noted that neither Joe nor Hunter Biden have thus far issued an explicit denial of the reported contents of the laptop.
Hunter was and remains a national security risk
Hunter Biden has suffered from a widely publicized addiction to illegal drugs and a penchant for high-risk activities for a number of years. His struggle with addiction is one with which many Americans find familiar and sympathize. During the course of his addiction and highly compromised lifestyle, however, Hunter engaged in foreign business dealings in Ukraine and China while maintaining access to senior U.S. policy makers. He was therefore vulnerable to exploitation or recruitment by hostile foreign intelligence services.
At the time this was happening, Joe Biden was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then Vice President of the United States with a policy portfolio that included Ukraine. Joe Biden has previously claimed no knowledge of Hunter’s business dealings. This flies in the face of the fact that members of the Obama administration were concerned about Hunter’s foreign dealings. At least one reported email from the laptop also calls his assertion into question. In it, a Ukrainian businessman thanks Hunter for the opportunity to have met with his father. The Biden campaign said that they could not find an official meeting on the former Vice President’s official calendars, but said it was possible that a meeting took place.
The volume of material
Sources have confirmed that the number of files found on the laptop is “voluminous.” As material has been corroborated, it has complicated efforts for federal counterintelligence investigators. From a methodology standpoint, the material has to be reviewed in its entirety to determine what, if any, material may have been either altered or included in an attempt to deceive federal authorities and the American public, which is a daunting and painstaking task. Several factors, including how the laptop was found, Hunter’s vulnerabilities and the fact that Rudy Giuliani had been openly seeking information about Hunter in Ukraine, triggered a counterintelligence review.
Hunter’s laptop was allegedly brought to a repair shop in his home state of Delaware. The service agreement supposedly included a clause that after a certain amount of time, if the laptop was not claimed, it became property of the repair shop owners. As such, the material was not “hacked” as Twitter has suggested. The shop owner allegedly turned over the hard drive to the FBI. The owner also made copies of the hard drive and provided them to Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer. Giuliani then provided the copy of the hard drive to the Post and has promised to release more information in the coming week.
Giuliani was openly seeking information on Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine, resulting in the allegations that he was the target of a Russian disinformation campaign. The fact that the information about the alleged material is coming through Steve Bannon, who was reportedly the first to find out about the hard drive, and Giuliani — both Trump operatives — should be noted. They have also refused to disclose the entire digital archive which would allow researchers to determine if any material has been altered or is not genuine, casting further suspicion on the situation.
As it is within 60 days of the general election, it is Justice Department policy not to comment on investigations that have an ability to impact an election. This precedent was broken in the lead up to the 2016 election when then-FBI Director James Comey commented on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. He revealed that the FBI had in fact found classified information on her server after she had attempted to have it “wiped clean.” Unfortunately, Mr. Comey has now set the expectation that the Justice Department should comment on the ongoing investigation.
In the end, the failure of the Obama administration, and Vice President Biden in particular, to intervene in Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, which they found troubling, or to distance him from senior U.S. policy makers has led to the current situation. It shows a complete lack of judgment and placed U.S. national security and policy making at risk.
Alex Plitsas is a national security professional, Bronze Star Medal recipient, and U.S. Army combat veteran of the Iraq War. He also served in Afghanistan as a Defense Civilian Intelligence Officer and at the Pentagon as Chief of Sensitive Activities for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations & Low-Intensity Conflict.
He completed his undergraduate studies at American University and attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. He lives in the New York Metropolitan area. Follow him on Twitter @alexplitsas and Parler @alexjplitsas.