Last week, The New York Times quietly acknowledged that the emails recovered from the MacBook Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware computer store were authentic. The admission came nearly a year-and-a-half late, after the corrupt media — legacy and social — buried the scandal the New York Post broke just weeks before the November election.
Merely admitting the laptop is legitimate is not enough. Rather, by concurring in the authenticity of the laptop and the emails, the supposed standard-bearers of journalism have also implicitly acknowledged the validity of the scandals spawn by the porn-filled MacBook. And notwithstanding the salacious source of the documentary evidence of the scandals, the scandals are not about Hunter Biden: They are about now-President Biden.
Here are the eight Joe Biden scandals deserving further coverage.
1. Pay-to-Play in Ukraine
The most obvious scandal bared by the emails and text messages contained on Hunter’s laptop concerns the influence profiteering Joe Biden apparently participated in during his eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, with Ukraine featuring heavily in the pay-to-play scheme.
The New York Times, in its likely “get ahead of the story,” coverage from last week, touched on the Ukrainian angle by noting Hunter’s connection to Burisma and then quoting emails recovered from the laptop indicating the younger Biden leveraged his dad’s position — then as vice president. But the Times’ surface coverage of the Burisma scandal doesn’t nearly suffice.
Surface it was: The Times made no mention of Hunter’s appointment to Burisma Holdings Board of Directors at a reported salary of $50,000 per month during his dad’s time as vice president. Hunter Biden had no experience in energy. So, a deep-dive on the entire Biden-Burisma connection is a first step.
2. China Gets in the Game
Ukraine is but a patch on the influence-peddling undertaken by Hunter on behalf of “the big guy,” as the younger Biden referred to his dad. China also played a large role in the family enterprise, as demonstrated by, again, passing coverage in November 2021. Then, the Times reported, in brief, that Hunter Biden’s joint global equity firm, the Bohai Harvest Equity Investment Fund, had helped coordinate the purchase by a Chinese mining company of the world’s largest cobalt source in the Congo.
That deal gave China control over a huge chunk of the world’s known cobalt supplies — an ingredient necessary to make electric car batteries. And the role of Hunter Biden’s company, Bohai, in the transaction again connects directly to Joe Biden, as Hunter reportedly launched that new joint enterprise with Chinese business partners less than two weeks after he traveled to China on Air Force Two with his then-vice president father.
In exploring this scandal, the press needs to push beyond the emails recovered from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, and do what Tucker Carlson did when the pay-to-play scandal first surfaced: talk to Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski. Bobulinski provides further proof that this scandal reaches the top of the Biden family.
3. Moscow, Kazakhstan, and More
While Ukraine and China likely hold the most significant revelations, once those threads are pulled, investigators should move on to Moscow, which according to a Senate report, holds another possible scandal. That report documents that Hunter also received a combined $3.5 million from the wife of the former Moscow mayor, a Kazakhstan investor, and several other individuals. After all, there is no reason to think that a person willing to let his son sell access to the vice president of the United States would close the money train to just a few countries.
4. Ukraine’s Firing of the Prosecutor Investigating Burisma
With the elite media now deigning coverage of Hunter’s laptop appropriate, the public knows the Burisma scandal was real and threatened to be spectacularly devastating to the elder Biden. That makes questions concerning then-Vice President Joe Biden’s demands that Ukraine fire the state prosecutor who was reportedly investigating Burisma ripe to revisit.
That prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was fired, according to statements Joe Biden made during a 2018 event, after Biden threatened to withhold a billion-dollar loan guarantee if the Ukrainian government refused to ax Shokin. A video of the event captured Biden recounting the event:
I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. 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, son of a b-tch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
While the Obama administration attempted to spin Biden’s push for the firing of Shokin, by claiming the international community had demanded Ukraine terminate the state prosecutor, a State Department official contradicted that claim during congressional testimony. George Kent, who worked on issues related to Ukraine at the State Department, reportedly told lawmakers it was the Obama administration that “spearheaded the efforts to have Shokin removed from his position as the top federal prosecutor in Ukraine.”
Biden needs to answer questions anew over his threats to withhold money from Ukraine unless the country removed the state prosecutor responsible for investigating Burisma. Democrats have impeached a president for less.
5. Obama-Biden Administration Ignoring Conflicts of Interest
Biden also needs to answer questions about his decision to ignore the clear conflicts of interest involved with him negotiating with the same countries Hunter was shaking down. Of course, since “the big guy” was in on the scam, bowing out over conflicts of interest is the lesser of the evils, but it is still worth investigating to assess how Biden handled the concerns raised by the Obama administration’s State Department.
Here, the testimony of the State Department official charged with issues related to Ukraine again proves significant. Kent told lawmakers that after learning Hunter sat on the board of Burisma, he raised concerns with the vice president’s office about the relationship.
“I raised my concerns that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest,” Kent testified before House members in October of 2019. “The message that I recall hearing back was that the vice president’s son Beau was dying of cancer and that there was no further bandwidth to deal with family-related issues at that time … That was the end of that conversation.”
The question for now-President Biden, then, is whether anyone in his office raised concerns about the clear conflicts-of-interest with him personally, and if so, why did Biden ignore the problem?
Another scandal reaching President Biden concerns his interactions with the intelligence community after the FBI, and presumably the CIA and other such agencies, learned in December of 2019, that Hunter Biden believed Russians had stolen Hunter’s laptop, rendering the Bidens susceptible to blackmail.
Here, it is important to understand that there are two separate Hunter Biden laptops at issue. The most-discussed laptop was actually the second laptop. That laptop was the one Hunter had abandoned at the Delaware repair shop. Then, after the repair shop owner discovered concerning material on the MacBook, the store owner handed it to the FBI in December of 2019. The owner of the repair shop, however, had first made a copy of the hard drive, which resulted in The New York Post’s coverage in October 2020.
But there was another laptop — one Hunter believed Russians had stolen from him when he was binging on drugs with prostitutes in the summer of 2018 in Las Vegas. While the public did not learn about the existence of this earlier laptop until August of 2021, the FBI knew about it as early as December 2019, when they took possession of the second laptop Hunter had left at the repair store.
Among other material contained on the second laptop was a video of Biden recounting the circumstances of his first laptop disappearing with some Russians. Significantly, on that video Hunter Biden said his first laptop contained a ton of material leaving him susceptible to blackmail, since his father was “running for president” and Hunter talked “about it all the time.”
It is inconceivable that the FBI and the intelligence communities did not brief Biden on this discovery and the risk of blackmail, given that former FBI Director James Comey briefed Trump on the fake Steele dossier. On second thought, that is the initial question reporters should ask the president: “Did the FBI brief you, Mr. President, on the fact that Hunter believed Russians had stolen a laptop containing compromising information?”
From there, an inquiring press should investigate to ensure that Joe Biden did not direct the intelligence community to bury this national security risk to protect himself or his son.
7. Possible Collusion to Interfere in the 2020 Election
An honest press should also investigate whether now-President Biden or anyone connected to his then-presidential campaign pressured reporters, media outlets, or companies such as Twitter and Facebook to censor the Hunter Biden story. And what about the “fifty former intelligence officials” who publicly declared the laptop resembled a Russian disinformation campaign—something clearly untrue? Did Biden or his campaign coordinate with those individuals, several of whom had endorsed the Democratic candidate, in the release of the letter?
Given that polls show that 17 percent of Joe Biden voters would not have voted for him in 2020, if they had known about the Biden family scandals, the collective burying of the laptop scandal represents the most significant interference in elections ever seen in our country. So, “Did Biden or his campaign have anything to do with the decision to kill the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter’s MacBook?” And “What about the ‘fifty former intelligence officials?’”
From there the follow-ups flow quickly: “Who was involved in the push to silence the story and who were the executives or ‘journalists’ who bowed to the demands?” “Who coordinated with the intelligence officials?” “Were any threats or promises made?” “What were they?” “What did Joe Biden know?” “What about other Democrats and the Democratic National Committee?”
8. Joe Biden Is a ‘Lying Dog-Faced Pony Soldier’
The final Joe Biden scandal the press should push President Biden to answer concerns his lies to the American public. While there are too many to count, two merit further questioning.
First, the media should demand Biden answer for lying to the country when he seethed, “I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period.” The evidence overwhelmingly shows that Biden not only knew of the family business deals but was part of them.
The second bold-faced fabrication from Biden came during his pre-election debate with Trump, when Trump raised “the laptop from hell.” When Trump asked Biden if he was saying the “laptop is now another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?” the then-Democratic candidate replied, “That’s exactly what [I] was told.”
Unlikely. Biden also countered with this doozy, which again raises the question of whether Biden had a role in the intelligence officials’ statement:
There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant. They have said that this has all the … five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend, Rudy Giuliani.
We can now add The New York Times to Giuliani. It remains to be seen, though, whether the Old Grey Lady and the other legacy outlets will report on the further scandals the laptop revealed—the ones that reach the president of the United States.
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
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