US intelligence analysts knew Russia would dump hacked Burisma emails targeting Biden as an ‘October surprise,’ report says

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US intelligence analysts learned last month that hacked emails from the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings would be leaked online as an “October surprise” in the 2020 US election, The New York Times reported.

News that Burisma had been hacked first surfaced in January. The Times reported then that the GRU, Russia’s main military intelligence agency, was responsible for the breach and that its hackers had been trying to access Burisma’s servers since at least last November.

After US intelligence found out in September about the plan to dump stolen emails, analysts contacted “several people with knowledge” of the Burisma hack, The Times reported.

The paper said the analysts were concerned “Burisma material would be leaked alongside forged materials in an attempt to hurt Mr. Biden’s candidacy.” Biden is currently the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.

Earlier Wednesday — the month after US intelligence is said to have learned of plans to release the hacked material — the New York Post published a dubious story about a “smoking-gun email” between Biden’s son, Hunter, and a top Burisma executive.

It said the email dates from when the elder Biden was vice president and Hunter Biden was serving on the board of Burisma.

Trump and his allies seized on the report as proof of their allegations of corruption against the Bidens, Burisma, and the Ukrainian government.

But as Business Insider reported, the story featured a number of holes and red flags:

The Post learned of the purported emails from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and obtained them from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
The story cited an unidentified computer-repair-shop owner as originally obtaining the emails last year after an unidentified person dropped off a water-damaged laptop with a Beau Biden Foundation sticker on it but never picked it up.
The shop owner is said to have made a copy of the hard drive and given it to Giuliani’s lawyer in December before turning the material over to federal authorities, the article said.
Business Insider identified the owner as John Paul Mac Isaac, an avid Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist who could not recall the timeline of events laid out in the Post’s story, for which he was a primary source.
The Post recycled a number of false claims about the Bidens’ connection to Burisma that have been amplified by Trump and those around him, despite their being debunked.

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Some background: Trump, Giuliani, and their backers have repeatedly claimed that Joe Biden improperly used his power as vice president in 2016 to remove from his position Viktor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor general.

They say Shokin was conducting a criminal investigation into Burisma while Hunter was on its board. In other words, they claimed Biden used his office to protect his family’s personal interests.

But, as Business Insider reported last year, that theory has some significant issues, not the least of which is the fact that Biden was representing the position of the US government, most of the …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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