Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

Hunter Biden Laptop Scandal Takes New Twist

 

Once dismissed as a Russian hoax, the explosive contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, discovered in 2019, are now public record.

The laptop, with its trove of incriminating information, has been repeatedly confirmed as authentic. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., underscored that legitimacy by entering the computer’s hard drive into the Congressional Record at a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.

Gaetz’s move signaled that national security concerns raised by the incriminating laptop will likely become a GOP focus in upcoming election campaigns. The Florida legislator appeared to be laying the groundwork for such a scenario.

Republicans say the continuous trickle of information from the laptop raise a host of questions about how closely Joe Biden, as former Vice President and former U.S. senator, was involved in his son’s foreign business dealings.

According to a report in Newsmax, Rep. Gaetz asked for the hard drive to be entered into the record following a tense exchange last week with Mr. Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, whom Gaetz was questioning during the Committee hearing.

“Where is the laptop now? Any idea?” Gaetz inquired.

“I don’t know.”

“The laptop was turned over to your agency in 2019, and three years later, you’re saying you don’t know where it is?”

“Sir, I’m not here to talk about the laptop,” Vorndran replied.

“That is astounding. You are the deputy assistant of the FBI’s Cyber Division. This is a matter of cyber security,” retorted Gaetz. “The laptop’s password is known, it’s out there. Your agency was supposed to assess whether [its contents] have a point of vulnerability that would allow our enemies to hurt our country.”

As Vorndran declined to answer Gaetz’s questions, Gaetz held up an external computer drive and addressed the committee members. “I seek unanimous consent to enter into the record of this Committee, content, files and copies from the Hunter Biden laptop which I have here in my possession,” he said.

Bombshell Voicemail

President Biden has repeatedly denied discussing Hunter’s business ventures with him, but on June 27, the Daily Mail published a revealing voicemail taken from a laptop recording of Hunter’s phone that reportedly cast doubt on those denials.

“Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you have a chance give me a call. Nothing urgent—I just wanted to talk with you,” Biden is heard saying in a voicemail from 2018. “I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear.”

The article Biden was referring to was published by the New York Times in December 2018 and reported the arrest of Chinese energy executive Ye Jianming in China, and the prosecution of his lieutenant, Patrick Ho, in the U.S. on bribery charges. The article also mentioned a private meeting between Ye who led the Chinese energy company, CEFC, and Hunter at a Miami hotel in May 2017.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by news correspondents last week why there was a voicemail of President Biden speaking to his son about his business dealings, if he has repeatedly said he has never spoken to his son about his ventures.

“Well, first, I’ll say that what the president said stands,” the press secretary said. “So, if he, if that’s what the president said, that is what stands.”

When pressed as to whether the president disputed the voicemail as his own message, Jean-Pierre shut down queries, saying, “I’m not going to talk about alleged materials from the laptop, it’s not happening.”

“The voicemail is a veritable smoking gun but ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to report on the latest bombshell development,” Media Research Center analyst Geoffrey Dickens wrote. “It’s a stunning revelation that these media organs are in the tank for the Biden administration.”

The blackout has continued and the story has received little attention, even online.

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-NY has promised to subpoena Hunter Biden should Republicans win back control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, saying the latest disclosure was more evidence of corruption.

“Hardly a day goes by without another revelation about how intimately involved Joe Biden was with his son Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign business dealings while he was vice president. Joe has been lying to the American people,” Stefanik told the NY Post.

Foreign Actors Exploit Hunter To Access Joe Biden

Hunter’s incriminating laptop was discovered at a Delaware computer repair shop and turned over to the FBI in April 2019. Its contents, revealed in a series of articles by the NY Post at the time, paint a picture of Hunter wheeling and dealing with wealthy oligarchs and foreign business entities, who appear to be using Hunter to gain access to his father.

Hunter, in turns, appears to exploit his father’s VIP status for financial profit.

Joe Biden was then vice president of the United States in the Obama Administration. The emails suggest that a corrupt Ukraine energy firm, Burisma, secured direct access to Joe Biden through his son Hunter.

Joe Biden exercised oversight of U.S.-Ukraine relations at the time, and was also the point man for US. foreign policy in China under the Obama administration.

The Ukrainian company was paying Hunter Biden $50,000 a month to sit on its board of directors, “a position for which he had neither qualifications nor experience,” noted a Fox News article. His chief and only asset to the company appeared to be his relationship with Vice President Biden.

The selection of emails reproduced by the Post article contains one by a Burisma executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, asking Hunter to use his influence to thwart an investigation into Burisma by Ukrainian government authorities. Another email by the same individual dated April 17, 2015, thanked Hunter for setting up a meeting for him with the vice president in Washington.

A few months later, Vice President Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire its prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who was preparing to investigate Burisma. During a 2018 videotaped speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden bragged about how he pulled this off.

He recounted that in a December 2015 meeting with Ukraine’s then-president, Petro Poroshenko, he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in much needed U.S. aid to Ukraine’s financially strapped government:

“I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, what do you know, he got fired!” Biden boasted to appreciative laughter from his audience.

In other emails to Ukrainian executives and Chinese government officials, the younger Biden  is seen negotiating multi-million dollar “remuneration packages” for himself and members of his family—including “the big guy,” which analysts who have studied the emails say refers to his father, Joe Biden.

The email correspondence reveals that in return for exorbitant salaries—one deal called for Hunter to collect $10 million a year in salary for “making introductions” [to U.S. VIPs] —Hunter Biden was expected to garner political and economic favors to benefit his Ukrainian and Chinese business partners.

‘Foreign Policy Can Be Bought Like a Sack of Potatoes’

Democrats and the media originally dismissed the revelations as “Russian disinformation,” while social-media giants Twitter and Facebook helped bury the story by cancelling the Post’s account for several days, and blocking the story’s circulation in every way possible.

Biden has repeatedly insisted that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” and even called a voter who brought up the matter at a campaign event a “flat-out liar.”
“Here’s what we do know and it’s important,” Senator Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy said in a Fox News interview at the time of the laptop’s emergence.

“President Obama put Vice President Biden in charge of America’s foreign affairs with two countries, Ukraine and China — and in both cases, his son, Mr. Hunter Biden walked away with millions of dollars of contracts.

The message that is sent to the rest of the world is that the foreign policy of the United States of America can be bought like a sack of potatoes, and that’s a disservice to America and to the world.”

The Bidens’ relationship with Ukraine came under special attention in 2019 as House Democrats pursued an impeachment inquiry surrounding then President Trump’s 2014 call with Ukraine’s president. In that call, Trump asked President Zelensky to investigate the actions of then Vice President Joe Biden in connection with the firing of the Ukrainian government’s top prosecutor, Victor Shokin.

This issue goes to the heart of Trump’s claims that Biden acted inappropriately in calling for the firing of a prosecutor –claims that Hunter Biden’s emails, noted below, appear to have confirmed.

A May 2014 shows Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board, allegedly asking for the younger Biden’s advice on how to stop “politically motivated actions.”

We urgently need your advice on how you could use your influence to convey a message/signal, etc. to stop what we consider to be politically motivated actions,” the email from Pozharskyi reads. And less than a year later, a purported email from Pozharskyi shows him thanking Hunter Biden for an invitation to meet his father.

Joe Biden aides do not dispute the e-mail, or deny the two men met.

As mentioned above, Biden subsequently bragged in a televised meeting that in spring 2016, he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its chief prosecutor. He did not admit, however, that his motive was to take the heat off Burisma, and stop prosecutors’ plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Why Were The Emails Suppressed?

One of the most troubling questions about the saga, however, is why the emails remained under wraps throughout the Trump impeachment trial.

The basis of the impeachment trial was the claim that Trump had colluded with Russian authorities to fabricate charges that Biden had abused his authority in ousting Ukraine’s top prosecutor. And here on Hunter Biden’s laptop was “smoking gun” evidence of just the opposite:  these so-called fabricated charges were apparently true.

Why was this evidence suppressed? Why was no investigation conducted to verify the authentication or fraudulence of the Biden emails?

Why this explosive evidence was withheld from the American people by the Justice Department, leaving the public in the dark about critical issues, remains unknown.

Given the media’s fierce partisanship today and the erosion of journalistic integrity, it is not hard to surmise the truth.

Influence Peddling

Fox News host Tucker Carlson reflected on why Joe Biden would express relief to his son Hunter over the NY Times story (“I think you’re clear”), that might have jeopardized both of them.

“It could be for the obvious reason–Joe Biden himself was making lots of money from CEFC,” observed Carlson. “According to emails obtained by the New York Post from Hunter Biden’s laptop in October of 2020, one of Hunter Biden’s business partners, James Gilliar explained that Joe Biden would receive a 10 percent stake in CEFC.

This arrangement meant millions of Chinese dollars for Hunter and Joe Biden.

Carlson went on to detail multiple multi-million dollar deals with foreign executives through which the Biden family has been enriched, based on bank records Senate investigators have uncovered.

“In August 2017, a Hunter Biden controlled company called Hudson West received a $5 million wire from CEFC which also paid Hunter Biden’s law firm, Owasco, nearly $5 million. Owasco, in turn, sent the $1.4 million to Lion Hall Consulting. That was a consulting firm run by Jimmy Biden, the president’s brother and his wife, and that was just the beginning of the arrangement.

“Emails unearthed by the New York Post found that someone called “the chairman,” identified as Ye Jianming, who led CEFC until 2018, promised to pay Hunter Biden $10 million a year “for introductions alone,” continued Carlson’s expose.

In other words, this was an agreement to have Hunter leverage his father’s position in government in return for an extravagant salary.

Hunter Biden then wrote to a CEFC official that “the chairman,” had amended the deal to provide for “a much more lasting and lucrative arrangement.” These payments continued even after CEFC’s leaders were arrested on corruption charges, attested Carlson, citing Senate records.

According to bank records reviewed by Senate investigators, “Hunter was paid another $1 million to represent Ye’s deputy, Patrick Ho, who Hunter once described as the “most important spy chief of China,” according to leaked audio obtained by RealClearPolitics.  (Patrick Ho was later convicted in New York of bribing African officials to help Iran avoid oil sanctions.)

“Here you have the president’s son who is talking to his dad about his business deal with China, admitting the guy he’s dealing with is the Chinese government spy chief. It’s almost unbelievable,” marveled Carlson.

Currying Favor With Beijing 

The Fox News host went on to suggest that the enormous financial profit accruing from these multiple deals have influenced President Biden to curry favor with the Chinese government, to the detriment of the United States.

For example, in February, Biden canceled a counter-espionage program called the “China Initiative” aimed at stopping the rampant theft of the United States’ national security secrets by the Chinese government.

“China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology, and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace,” former National Intelligence director John Ratcliffe noted in a WSJ opinion piece.

The economic espionage is a carefully crafted system, according to FBI reports. China oversees hundreds of what the government calls ‘Talent Plans,’ an innocent-sounding name for a program used by China to transfer, or more precisely steal, foreign research and technology to benefit the Chinese government.

With President Biden’s canceling of the “China Initiative,” the Chinese government can steal U.S. research and technology with impunity.

Biden has also announced plans to end tariffs against China put in place by former President Donald Trump. China’s objections to the tariffs are apparently bearing fruit with a president who has already ceded far too much ground to the Chinese government, experts say.

The president has also sought to diminish “America’s single greatest asset—its domestic energy supply—and make the United States dependent on Chinese technology for wind and solar projects,” charged Fox News host Carlson. “If you’re the Chinese government, this is the masterstroke. This is the checkmate. Once you control a country’s energy grid, you control that country.”

 

*****

New Fallout From Discovery of Hunter’s Personal Calendar

New fallout from Hunter Biden’s laptop has heightened suspicions with the disclosure of Hunter’s personal calendar, which lists a series of meetings between himself, his business partner and then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Based on a study of the calendar, the New York Post reported that Hunter Biden met with his father at least 30 times at the White House or the vice president’s residence, often just days after he returned home from high-level meetings with foreign executives in Russia, Ukraine and China.

The calendar contradicts several statements by Joe Biden, who said he never spoke to his son about his overseas business dealings.

“What this new evidence shows clearly is there was a pattern of contact between Hunter Biden and his father and that pattern was that directly related to business deals or meetings that he had with prospective clients around the world,” said Peter Schwizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute.

Republicans are laying the groundwork to make Hunter Biden and his business dealings a central target of their investigative and oversight efforts. The financial dealings of the president’s eldest son will come under new scrutiny if Republicans win control of one or both houses of Congress this fall, as is increasingly expected.

“We intend to investigate and we’ve already made those document requests,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.

Treasury Department Stonewalls Request For Information

Some of the documents referenced by Stefanik have been sent to the Treasury Department.

But Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Treasury officials have been stonewalling his requests. They refused to hand over suspicious activity reports, or SARs, unless the committee’s Democratic leaders signed off on the request.

“Despite Treasury’s assertion in the press that it ‘provides SARs to Congress in a manner that enables robust oversight,’ Treasury is refusing to release SARs connected with Hunter Biden or his family and associates — including the President,” Mr. Comer wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Comer had requested information in May on financial transactions flagged by U.S. banks. SARs provide banks with a reporting mechanism to flag suspicious transactions for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

In the letter, Mr. Comer cited media reports claiming that “more than 150 of Hunter Biden and the Biden network’s international business transactions have generated suspicious activity reports by U.S. banks. These call for further review by the Treasury Department to determine if there is illegal activity or a threat to national security.”

“The Treasury Department used to provide these reports to Congress, but the Biden Administration has restricted access to them, raising questions about a possible effort to hide the Biden network’s suspicious business dealings,” Mr. Comer wrote in the May letter.

He said Treasury outright denied the Republicans’ request to hand over the reports.

“The American people deserve to know whether the President’s connections to his son’s business deals occurred at the expense of the United States’ interests and whether they represent a national security threat,” Mr. Comer said in the letter.

In a recent New York Post op-ed, Comer was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio in pledging to investigate Hunter Biden’s “shady business dealings,” should Republicans win the majority in this year’s midterm elections.

“A Republican majority will be committed to uncovering the facts the Democrats, Big Tech and the legacy media have suppressed,” the lawmakers wrote.

 

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