The New York Times Admits Hunter Laptop was Authentic and Possible Basis for Charges

There are some things that are just painful to watch. For some of us, the Bears offensive line in the last couple of years would force us to look the other way for four quick downs. For others, it is cringeworthy dancing and singing of politicians to appeal to younger voters.  However, there is nothing more painful than watching the media forced to recognize long-buried scandals related to the Biden family.

Last year, National Public Radio admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop was authentic and not Russian disinformation. It appears to have taken the New York Times even longer to move along that journalistic path of the Kübler-Ross process of grieving.

The Times has now expressly and unambiguously stated that the laptop was abandoned by Hunter Biden, contains authentic emails, and is part of the basis for the ongoing investigation of Biden by federal authorities.  Even with this admission against interests, the Times is downplaying the possible criminal charges in coverage strikingly different from its coverage of Trump officials charged on the same grounds.

For those of us who have written about the laptop for two years, it has been a constant barrage of criticism of spreading “Russian disinformation” or discussing manufactured emails.

Notably, the Biden family never outright denied that the laptop belonged to Hunter. They just kept repeating that it was Russian disinformation. It did not matter that recipients of the emails confirmed the authenticity of the messages detailing extensive influence peddling schemes by the Biden family. The Biden campaign assembled the usual list of experts to shut off debate by declaring that this was all false. It was a mantra from President Biden to a legion of reporters. As Biden stated

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant. [F]ive former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage.”

The press ran with that account despite the early determination of American intelligence that it was not Russian disinformation.

Some were more honest, or at least forthright, than others. Washington Post columnist Thomas Rid wrote that  “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.

Let that sink in for a second. It does not matter if these are real emails and not Russian disinformation. They probably are real but should be treated as disinformation even though American intelligence has repeatedly rebutted that claim.  It does not even matter that the computer was seized as evidence in a criminal fraud investigation or that a Biden confidant is now giving his allegations to the FBI under threat of criminal charges if he lies to investigators.

One of the most active voices spreading that disinformation was White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who repeatedly deflected questions by suggesting that those of us pushing the issue were helping Russian intelligence. She would brush off any questions by stating “I think it’s broadly known and widely known that there was a broad range of Russian disinformation back in 2020.”

Most media have not seriously pressed Psaki on those false claims. Indeed, those 50 experts have not been confronted on the falsity of that much cited letter. We have seen the same treatment with legal analysts who have pushed false accounts. When major claims are later debunked, they are quickly set aside by a sympathetic media.

The New York Times article is masterpiece in the art of burying such admissions. In the middle of the long article is this:

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.

For two years, the New York Times has been largely quiet as the Biden family sought to avoid allegations of raw influence peddling by claiming that this was all Russian disinformation. Now, it appears, the truth can be told. Note that key authenticating facts were known two years ago, it was only the ability to recognize those facts that have changed.

Indeed, some columnists are celebrating a “scandal-free” start to the Biden Administration — an accomplishment only possible with the help of obligating media. Every time new contradictions arose or evidence of windfall payments to Hunter were disclosed, the media eagerly followed President Biden to the nearest ice cream shop to discuss the scoop of the day.

Notably, the Times article strongly suggests that any prosecution of Biden would be controversial and questionable. It questions any tax prosecution because sources say he has paid off those taxes.  It does not delve into the extensive evidence of influence peddling but does address the possible charge of being an unregistered foreign agent.

“…prosecutors face a number of hurdles to bringing criminal charges, the people familiar with the investigation said, including proving that Mr. Biden intentionally violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which requires disclosure to the Justice Department of lobbying or public relations assistance on behalf of foreign clients.”

It was a strikingly different tone and analysis of FARA charges in the coverage of possible charges against Trump figures where such charges were described as “crimes of convenience” and quoted experts who predicted robust enforcement against such figures.

What is also missing in this admission is the most obvious implication. If these emails are authentic, they reveal a series of messages from Hunter on the use of some of his foreign monies to support his father and the intermixing of their funds. The emails also directly contradict President Biden’s past denials. His own Justice Department is now investigating President Biden’s family in allegations that have direct and potentially damaging impact for him personally. Yet, Attorney General Merrick Garland has ignored calls for a special counsel.

Even with the belated recognition that the emails are authentic, the media still avoids such obvious questions and the need for a special counsel. It is good to see the New York Times make it all the way to acceptance on the Kübler-Ross scale and I do not question the sense of deep grief in such a moment. However, now that we agree these are Hunter’s emails, we might want to discuss what they contain and who they implicate.

 

 

167 thoughts on “The New York Times Admits Hunter Laptop was Authentic and Possible Basis for Charges”

  1. “The Times has now expressly and unambiguously stated that the laptop was abandoned by Hunter Biden . . .”

    Wait. What?!

    There’s a man named Hunter Biden? Who abandoned a laptop? With salacious material on it? And evidence that his family is a pack of grifters?

    Where would we be without the NYT?

  2. @Jeffy and Paul…

    First, the odds are that the lawsuits will be settled before setting foot in a court room for trial.
    Most lawsuits tend to end after discovery and terms could be worked out.

    That said, don’t put too much faith in a judge saying that Tucker’s statements hurt Fox. They actually don’t.
    Free clue… Fox can claim that they are fair and balanced. Maria says one opinion, Tucker the reverse.

    It depends on how the lawyer(s) respond in court.

  3. @Sam,
    “The “long-buried scandals related to the Biden family.”

    *That* was election fraud. It was media negligence, motivated by a desire to elect Biden.”
    -=-

    Sorry no, that’s not election fraud.

    Election fraud is when your ‘foundation’ pays for setting up drop boxes only in Democratic heavy districts.
    When drop boxes are set up in states where their state constitution prohibits them.
    Where ballot box stuffing is also illegal.

    Where the State, as part of the funding that said ‘foundation’ gave… is given illegal access to voter data, and real time voting data.

    There is more to this… but you get the idea.

    Burying a scandal? That’s something that happens all the time. Trump’s friends in the media would buy exclusives and then bury the story.

    -G

    1. “Sorry no, that’s not election fraud.”

      Except that it is, a massive one. It was a fraud just like the 1619 Project is a fraud — a pack of lies (by omission) designed to accomplish a dishonest end.

  4. @Dennis

    I don’t think you really comprehend what you wrote.

    One the one hand… Hunter’s laptop was verified. The truth is that it was verified at the time of the original story by the NYP which detailed how they verified it. This implies that the contents of the laptop were also verified.

    But lets go beyond the implications.
    The other parties to many of the emails were contacted and they verified the contents of the emails.
    The photos? Inspection shows that they were not deep fakes. And it would make no sense to taint verified evidence w deep fakes, so the images, are real. They also coincide w Hunter’s own admissions about his drug use and ‘sex addiction’. (e.g. stripper’s baby daddy that the Biden family doesn’t recognize, while the courts do…)

    And no. You clearly don’t know about the FARA scandals. Just ask the Podesta brothers.

    Please do a bit more research and be a bit more honest.

    -G

  5. @Anonymous…

    Wow, uhm… hate to break it to you…

    Dropping an October surprise is an often used and old strategy. Drop the truth bomb earlier, the opponent can recover.
    Moving forward… due to the potential censorship of news… I think that tactic will fade and once the truth bomb is ready, it will be released rather than trying to time it.

    That said… Trump’s dossier was a work of fiction.
    Hunter’s laptop. Confirmed and verified even before the election when the NYP dropped their truth bomb.

    -G

  6. It is too bad that as a nation, we have done away with enhanced interrogation techniques.
    If Hunter were subjected to it, he would crack in less than an hour.
    If his father were subjected to it, he wouldn’t last 10 minutes.

    And the above is not a political observation at all. If I were a staunch progressive left-winger, or a MAGA supporter, my comment would still be hard to refute — the Bidens have a remote relationship with the truth.

    1. The US was morally and strategically wrong to torture people in Guantanamo. You are morally and strategically wrong to advocate more torture.

  7. “I’m going to explain how The Laptop that Rudy Giuliani floated just before the election is the functional equivalent of the Steele dossier. Before I do, let me make a fairly obvious (if counterintuitive) point: Of the three people that powerful Ukrainians attempted to cultivate for their ties to the Vice President or President — Paul Manafort, Hunter Biden, and Rudy Giuliani — just one provably affected US policy through the Vice President or President: Rudy. … Among other things, Rudy got Marie Yovanovitch fired. In only Rudy’s case, then, do we have clearcut proof that a Ukrainian influence operation had the desired effect of changing American policy. Though even there, it’s not yet clear whether Rudy’s unregistered influence peddling was criminal.”
    https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/03/18/the-laptop-is-the-functional-equivalent-of-the-steele-dossier-1-rudy-is-the-real-scandal/

    And lest you think she found the Steele Dossier reliable, as far back as mid-2017 she was saying things like “There are real, unanswered questions about the provenance of the document as leaked by BuzzFeed. Some of the circumstances surrounding its production — most notably its funders and their claimed goals, and Steele’s production of a final report, based off voluntarily provided information, for free — raise real questions about parts of the dossier. I think it quite likely some parts of the dossier, especially the last, most inflammatory report (which accuses Cohen of attending a meeting where payments from Trump to the hackers that targeted the Democrats were discussed), were disinformation fed by the Russians.”

    1. Anon,

      You bring up an interesting dichotomy. The leftist MSM will have us believe that the Steele Dossier was not Russian disinformation but that, alternately, HB’s laptop must be Russian disinformation.

  8. Jonathan: For the political right Hunter Biden is the gift that keeps on giving. His struggles with substance abuse, a scandalous private life and his questionable business affairs are fodder for those, like you. who want to taint Pres. Biden for the rest of his term. It started after an inquiry regarding Hunter’s taxes and now is a full investigation into whether the President’s son violated FARA. No criminal charges have been filed but that doesn’t stop you from endless speculation. Now that the laptop has apparently been authenticated as belonging to Hunter you engage in further speculation about the contents of the hard drive. You say the Hunter emails show an “intermixing of their funds” by Hunter and his dad without one scintilla of evidence. Endless speculation.

    Speaking of FARA violations the greatest number came under Trump’s reign. And they are not “possible charges against Trump figures” as you claim. Paul Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, pled guilty to violating FARA by providing false statements, laundering money, witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine. Manafort laundered money from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE through straw donors and funneled it into Trump’s campaign. Trump pardoned Manafort. Do you think Trump didn’t know what was going on? Then last year Tom Barrack, close friend and advisor to Trump, was charged, along with two close associates, on multiple counts of violating FARA because of their work on behalf of the UAE. When it comes to “influence peddling” and “scandals” Trump and his cronies practiced it in spades. But this is the part you choose to ignore.

    I doubt what Hunter engaged in raises to the level of what we saw under Trump. But Hunter is all you have and you will continue to milk it for all its worth. For you where there is smoke there must be a fire some place. Beware of calling in false alarms!

    1. Don’t forget that Mike Flynn also pleaded guilty to a FARA violation. Trump pardoned him too.

      1. You sir, are either a liar or extremely ignorant. Either way, take this opportunity to remain silent and be thought perhaps less of a fool. Mike Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI, not a FARA violation. Further, he later made a motion to withdraw that plea, and his case was dismissed with prejudice (this means it was dismissed on the merits, that the government could not prove its case). Although this was subsequently overturned, he was never tried or found guilty of anything. And lets not forget that all of this horse manure and waste of taxpayer money was brought about the ill fated and infamous crossfire hurricane investigation.

    2. If Hunter was my son I would try to get him help. From what I can see hos parents are nothing more than enablers.

      1. VP Joe Biden did try to get his son help. He pulled strings to get Hunter into the Navy with a special age-waiver. He foisted his too-old son on the military to try to rehabilitate the sicko. Then Hunter’s drug and sex addictions and other numerous problems became too much for even the Navy to deal with. In less than six months the Navy had enough and kicked the loser out.

        Then the Big Guy Joe got druggie Hunter travelling the world on Air Force 2 with him hoovering up cash from some of the sleeziest sleezebags in the world.

        Joe Biden is the head of a very sick and screwed up family.

    3. This has nothing to do with the previous president so stop with the diversion. Hunter and his father engaged in corrupt actions and all the evidence needed to prove this can be found on that laptop. I can say with authority because I have seen the emails with my own eyes. Nothing will done about because we have a hyper political D leaning AG and DOJ. So spare me the leftist talking points and be honest with yourself.

  9. Turley keeps mentioning influence peddling as the major factor in this Biden “scandal”. Apparently influence peddling is perfectly legal. The Supreme Court itself ruled influence peddling is a first amendment protected activity. Interesting.

    “ The Supreme Court had previously ruled in line of cases culminating in McCutcheon v. FEC (2014) that plutocrats have a First Amendment right to buy, under the guise of campaign financing, undue influence which creates conflicts of interest for the peddlers of that influence. Chief Justice Roberts wrote in McCutcheon that “[i]ngratiation and access” bought in this manner “are not corruption…. They embody a central feature of democracy.”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/30/supreme-court-legalizes-influence-peddling-mcdonnell-v-united-states/

    It seems the Supreme Court’s conservatives have been whittling down anti-corruption laws. Maybe this “scandal”. Is just a legal, albeit, bad looking activity.

    1. Just when we thought it was safe to send the children back to school, out comes Svelaz to defend the indefensible.

      1. Epstein,

        “ Just when we thought it was safe to send the children back to school, out comes Svelaz to defend the indefensible.”

        Actually, it IS defensible. Just take a gander at what the Supreme Court had to say about influence peddling.

        The Supreme Court itself has made it much harder to fight corruption in government thanks to republicans and monied interests.

        Even Trump’s own children took advantage of their father’s position. And profited from their influence peddling.

        1. Svelaz, your unhealthy obsession with Donald Trump reminds us all of that emotionally crippled divorcee who blames all of their failures on their evil ex-spouse. It’s time to move on.

        2. Svelaz,

          Hunter is being investigated for tax evasion and money laundering. As you have pointed out, influence peddling is legal However, a quid pro quo arrangement is not.

          This investigation will follow the money trail from its various sources to its various destinations. The fear for the Dems is what these trails will reveal.

      1. Anonymous, I noticed. I did email Turley about this guy. It’s just a matter of when it gets dealt with if it ever does.

        1. Im so glad you noticed, Svetz. By the way I have a favor to ask. Im having a terrible time getting some action in the bath houses in West Hollywood. Ive been attacking Mespo using homophobic taunts, because it was the right thing to do, but now it seems all of the hung boys at the baths think I am straight. Can you send me some of your tricks? Surely they know there is nothing heterosexual about me. I sure could use a BBC right now

          Thanks Sveltz. Youre my besty

            1. He is a pitiful power bottom. It will take years of tricking to undo the damage he has done to bottoms throughout the world. Lets start cleaning now to get to work.

  10. The “long-buried scandals related to the Biden family.”

    *That* was election fraud. It was media negligence, motivated by a desire to elect Biden.

  11. Why the sudden interest in the Biden family’s well known history of corruption and influence peddling? Many see a strong parallel to former progressive darling Andrew Cuomo, who was quickly deposed once he was no longer useful to the Democrat party. But in Biden’s case, the Democrats are grappling with a serious succession problem. One that is not easily solved in time for the 2022 midterms.

    Disastrous progressive policies have led to foreign policy debacles in Afghanistan and Ukraine, an unchecked immigration crisis at the southern border, runaway inflation and energy prices that can no longer be dismissed as ‘transitory,’ a crisis of violent crime in American cities, wildly unpopular forced vaccination programs, and a backlash against the progressives’ maniacal focus outrageous and divisive identity politics. The Democrats realize that they are in for a shellacking in the midterms. On top of that, Joe Biden’s increasing mental and physical decline can no longer be hidden from the American people. Soon, it may no longer be taboo to say the name Tara Reade.

    But if Biden is deposed, then what? Kamala Harris, chosen as a political prop despite her spectacular flameout in the Democrat’s 2020 primaries, has proven to be a complete disaster as Vice President. Next in line: Nancy Pelosi. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Observers recognize that the Democrats are grappling with a serious crisis within their ranks. The NYT article is a signal that Joe Biden has outlived his usefulness to the Democrat party. The long knives are coming out. But they have nobody to replace him.

    1. I don’t disagree with what you wrote about the apparent lack of depth in the Democrat Party. And you may be right about the NYT motivation for publishing this story a year and a half late.

      However, my guess is the investigators into the Biden family corruption either have enough to indict someone (Hunter?) or they are getting very close. Leaking to the New York Times serves two purposes: it prepares the NYT readers for the potential of a bombshell indictment and it is an attempt to try to prevent either Merrick Garland or Joe Biden from squashing it.

      1. “[M]y guess is the investigators into the Biden family corruption . . .”

        Perhaps. And perhaps this:

        The NYT is acknowledging the truth *now* as a political calculation, to help the D’s in the midterms. Biden’s poll numbers are, quite properly, in the tank. So the Left’s brain trust figures: “We need to distance the party from the president. So, unleash the hounds.”

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