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The FBI is investigating whether alleged emails of communications between Hunter Biden and a senior executive at the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings were part of a foreign intelligence operation, NBC News reported.
The emails first surfaced in a dubious and widely discredited story from the New York Post this week purporting to feature “smoking-gun” emails showing the Burisma executive discussing with Hunter the prospect of meeting his father, Joe Biden, when Biden was vice president in 2015.
Though the article offered little new information and contained a multitude of falsehoods, Trumpworld seized on it as incontrovertible proof that Ukrainian officials took advantage of Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma to extract special treatment from Joe Biden during the Obama administration.
The two Bidens have long been at the center of unfounded conspiracy theories promoted by President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, alleging that the elder Biden leveraged his role as vice president to shut down a criminal investigation into Burisma while Hunter was serving on its board in 2016. They’ve also circulated a bogus allegation suggesting that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to help Democrats and hurt Trump.
As Business Insider reported, based on media reports, intelligence assessments, witness testimony, and public statements, there is no evidence that these theories holds merit. But they’ve been amplified by Trump’s allies in Congress and conservative media, as well as by Russian government officials and state-run media outlets.
News of the FBI investigation into the purported Hunter Biden emails comes shortly after it was reported that US officials warned the White House last year that Russian operatives were using Giuliani to funnel disinformation to Trump. The warning came as Giuliani was in Ukraine on a mission to dig up dirt on the Bidens. While there, he met with a man who was sanctioned by the US Treasury last month for acting as a Russian agent.
Giuliani, who is currently under federal criminal investigation over whether he violated foreign lobbying laws, was also one of the sources of the New York Post story. It’s unclear when exactly the FBI began investigating if the alleged Hunter Biden emails were part of a foreign intelligence operation. But NBC News’ report adds yet another layer to an already convoluted saga about disinformation, kompromat, and foreign intelligence operations on the eve of yet another US election.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of key events in the timeline:
April 2019: Unidentified person allegedly drops off a damaged laptop containing compromising Hunter Biden material at a computer repair shop in Delaware
According to the New York Post story, the emails came from a water-damaged laptop and external hard drive that an unidentified person dropped off at a repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, in April 2019.
The shop’s owner, who Business Insider identified as a man named John Paul Mac Isaac, is an avid Trump supporter and told The Washington Post that he is legally blind. Despite that, Mac …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics