Major Report on Hunter Biden Laptop and Investigation Implodes White House Narrative

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Better late than never, I suppose? The New York Times has released a major report on Hunter Biden detailing the authenticity of his now-infamous laptop and confirming details about the ongoing criminal investigation into Joe Biden’s son.


Original reports on the laptop emerged during the 2020 presidential election, most notably by the New York Post, and were met with widespread claims of “disinformation” and censorship. The Post was actually banned from multiple social media sites over their reporting, with companies like Facebook insisting it was because the laptop contained “hacked” materials.

That was false. The laptop was not hacked but was left at a computer repair shop. Because it was never picked up and paid for, the shop took legal ownership of it after a period of time (most computer repair contracts stipulate the computer itself as collateral).

As the Times’ report makes clear, though, Hunter Biden’s issues go well beyond an unpaid laptop bill and some embarrassing pictures.

As recently as last month, the federal grand jury heard testimony in Wilmington, Del., from two witnesses, one of whom was a former employee of Hunter Biden whose lawyer was later subpoenaed for financial records that reflected money Mr. Biden received from a Ukrainian energy company.

The investigation, which began as a tax inquiry under the Obama administration, widened in 2018 to include possible criminal violations of tax laws, as well as foreign lobbying and money laundering rules, according to the people familiar with the inquiry.

But 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.


I find the Times’ framing to be ludicrous, even if the underlying information is newsworthy and useful. Why would it be difficult to prove that Hunter Biden intentionally violated FARA violations? Are we supposed to believe that he was completely unaware he was actively lobbying US officials on behalf of a Chinese-run company (and continues to be invested in it)? Or that he had no idea he was lobbying for a foreign government when he was paid millions to push for the unfreezing of Libyan government assets?

This stuff isn’t hypothetical. Hunter Biden didn’t just make lots of money from foreign entities, he used his influence with his now-president father to secure benefits (or attempt to in some cases) for those foreign entities. If that’s not a violation of FARA, then nothing is (except being a Trump associate because then everything is a FARA violation).

How is any of that defensible, you might ask? Apparently, the memo has gone out to blame Hunter Biden’s drug use.

The elder Mr. Biden now oversees the Justice Department that is carrying out the investigation. And Hunter Biden, who in recent years has pursued a career as a painter, has acknowledged serious drug addiction and other problems during the period when he was seeking international business, while dealing with the illness and death of his brother Beau.

Hunter Biden isn’t a 16-year-old kid. He’s a 50-something-year-old man who has spent decades corruptly making money and living a decadent lifestyle, flush with hookers and blow. At some point, saying “Well, I was on drugs” no longer washes as an excuse for such behavior. Where was Joe Biden? Where was Jill Biden? Hunter Biden has a far stronger family structure than many other addicts who still ended up doing time for their transgressions.


Unfortunately, it does seem as if the DOJ is looking for an out instead of actually enforcing the law. Given such bureaucracies are almost always wholly made up of careerist Democrats, that’s not surprising.

But there has been debate within the Justice Department over whether the available evidence proves that Mr. Biden intended to violate FARA, which the government must prove in order to secure a criminal conviction. The prosecutors have discussed approaching potential FARA violations as a civil matter, which would require Mr. Biden to register retroactively as a foreign agent, but would avoid criminal charges, according to the people familiar with the case.

Such a resolution could complicate a potential money laundering case, since money laundering is typically charged in connection with another crime.

Again, why would it be difficult to prove intent? There’s more evidence here of intentional FARA violations than any other case I’ve ever seen, and we saw several of them pursued during the Trump years. To let Hunter Biden off with a civil slap on the wrist would be a huge miscarriage of justice and signal open season for more corruption. If that’s the outcome here, it’s another huge indictment on the DOJ’s credibility, especially since they did not offer that olive branch to any Trump associate targeted over FARA violations.

But while the Times does its best to make it seem as if Hunter Biden is in the clear, that may not be true. Toward the bottom of the article is this paragraph, which not only confirms the infamous laptop is real (and was, in fact, left at a computer repair shop), but also notes that emails on that laptop confirm Hunter Biden was looking to avoid triggering FARA.


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.

In some of the emails, Mr. Biden displayed a familiarity with FARA, and a desire to avoid triggering it.

That confirmation on the laptop provides yet more vindication to right-leaning outlets, including RedState, that have reported extensively on it. It was always real, and the White House’s narrative that it was “Russian disinformation” was always false.

Still, there are some true believers.

You can only shake your head at this point. When something is real, it, therefore, can’t be disinformation, and nothing about the reporting on the laptop back during the 2020 election pushed any false claims. Rather, the materials were exposed in their proper context and continue to be.

In a more just society, not only would Hunter Biden be indicted for multiple crimes, but the social media companies and journalist hacks who rushed to do him and his father’s bidding would pay some kind of price. Instead, there will be no follow-up and no price to pay. They’ll just move on to the next bit of obfuscation for political gain. Still, the White House has egg on its face once again.




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