The decade's most triggering comedy
The Washington Post joined The New York Times on Wednesday in verifying some of the contents pulled off of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden and abandoned at a Delaware computer store in 2019.
The confirmations by the major news publications come weeks apart and roughly 18 months after the New York Post broke stories on Biden’s overseas business dealings, citing information from the laptop. The NY Post’s stories, published weeks before the 2020 election, were censored on social media and downplayed as likely products of Russian propaganda. At the time, neither Biden nor his father, now the President of the United States, claimed that the laptop or its contents were fake.
Independent experts and knowledgeable sources approached by the NYT and WaPo have confirmed the veracity of emails at the basis of several of the explosive NY Post reports. Experts interviewed by WaPo warned that the chain of custody of the data from Biden’s purported laptop is difficult to establish, and that WaPo’s copy of the laptop’s hard drive contained evidence that files are missing and could have been doctored. The experts did not find evidence that existing files had been intentionally tampered with, however.
WaPo took a copy of Biden’s laptop’s hard drive, given to the outlet by Republican activist Jack Maxey, to two independent experts for analysis. Of the nearly 129,000 emails contained on the hard drive, Johns Hopkins University security researcher Matt Green was only able to verify 1,828. Former National Security Agency operative Jake Williams was able to verify a much larger portion of the emails: nearly 22,000.
Within the verified messages are emails originally reported by the NY Post in 2020 showing Biden’s communications with a Chinese energy company and a Ukrainian energy company, the latter of which paid Biden as much as $83,000 a month to sit on its board. As WaPo reports:
In particular, there are verified emails illuminating a deal Hunter Biden developed with a fast-growing Chinese energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy, for which he was paid nearly $5 million, and other business relationships. Those business dealings are the subject of a separate Washington Post story published at the same time as this one on the forensic examinations of the drive.
The drive also includes some verified emails from Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company for which he was a board member. President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie Joe Biden to the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma led to Trump’s first impeachment trial, which ended in acquittal in February 2020.
According to John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repair shop owner who serviced Biden’s laptop before turning it in to the FBI, Biden dropped the laptop off with Isaac in April 2019 and never came back to retrieve it. Isaac eventually treated it as abandoned property and turned it over to the FBI in July of that year after Biden’s business dealings grew in the national spotlight.
Isaac also made a copy of the drive that he attempted to turn over to Republican lawmakers, who apparently ignored his attempts. Isaac eventually turned the data over to Rudy Giuliani, who was at that time working as then-President Trump’s private attorney. Giuliani’s team gave the hard drive to the NY Post.
Asked about the NYT and WaPo finally confirming the veracity of the information found in the laptop, Isaac told WaPo in a statement: “I am relieved that finally, after 18 months of being persecuted and attacked for my actions, the rest of the country is starting to open their eyes.”