Before the New York Post broke the story about Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop, Trump allies and one of Hunter Biden’s business partners, met with a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter to discuss a similar story, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender reportedly met with White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, former White House counsel Stefan Passantino and Arthur Schwartz, an associate of Donald Trump Jr., in early October in McLean, Virginia, the NYT reported. The purpose of the meeting was to give Bender “a cache of emails detailing Hunter Biden’s business activities.” Hunter Biden’s business partner Tony Bobulinski was on on speakerphone, according to NYT.
“Mr. Bobulinski was willing to go on the record in The Journal with an explosive claim: that Joe Biden, the former vice president, had been aware of, and profited from, his son’s activities,” NYT added. (RELATED: These Reports Are Essential Reading For Understanding The Hunter Biden Story)
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 25, 2020
Trump allies reportedly leaned on the idea that WSJ‘s conservative leanings and credibility would give viability to and verify the claims, though Joe Biden has denied the allegations, NYT reported. They reportedly hoped to “change the narrative” of the presidential race. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, who had been working with former presidential adviser Steve Bannon, was set to deliver his own documents to the New York Post, according to NYT.
As WSJ reporters worked to determine whether the documents could prove Joe Biden was involved in Hunter’s lobbying effort, the New York Post published its own story Oct. 14. Trump’s team expected the Journal’s story Oct. 19, with the president reportedly telling staffers an “important piece” was coming from WSJ, the Times reported.
Bobulinski reportedly became impatient with the timeline and emailed a 684-word statement, which Breitbart News published, to various media outlets alleging the former Vice President was involved in his son’s business, according to he NYT. Bobulinski also held a small press conference before the final presidential debate, where he served as Trump’s debate guest. (RELATED: ‘Political And Strategic Value Of The Biden Family’: Trove Of Documents Shows Biden Family Links To Chinese Business Deal)
The WSJ posted its version of the story after the final debate, concluding, “Corporate records reviewed by the Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.”
“Text messages and emails related to the venture that were provided to the Journal by Mr. Bobulinski, mainly from the spring and summer of 2017, don’t show either Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture,” it continued.