Late Wednesday morning, The Washington Post decided that, as our Tim Graham tweeted, Democracy Has a Sunrise instead of Dying in Darkness as reporters Matt Viser, Tom Hamburger, and Craig Timberg published two bombshell articles acknowledging the existence of the infamous Hunter Biden laptop and detailing the First Son’s life of corruption as it relates to a Chinese energy company.
The trio’s admission came a year and a half after the laptop was first exposed by the New York Post and a full-court press and open collusion ensued between Big Tech, the liberal media, and the Biden campaign to censor and silence those who merely shared the New York paper’s groundbreaking story.
As we found after the 2020 election, 9.4 percent of Biden voters in swing states wouldn’t have voted for him if they had been made aware of his son’s negligence.
“Here’s how The Post analyzed Hunter Biden’s laptop” came first and did what the Daily Caller was able to do back on October 29, 2020, which was analyzed to verify its validity as “unquestionably authentic.”
Viser, Hamburger, and Timberg explained in their lead: “[t]housands of emails purportedly from the laptop computer of Hunter Biden...are authentic communications that can be verified through cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies.”
They quickly added they were “a small fraction of 217 gigabytes of data provided to The Post” in June 2021 “on a portable hard drive by Republican activist Jack Maxey” with copies of files from his laptop because “[t]he vast majority of the data — and most of the nearly 129,000 emails it contained — could not be verified by either of the two security experts who reviewed the data for The Post” though “neither found clear evidence of tampering.”
The Post blamed the lack of conclusiveness on “sloppy handling of the data, which damaged some records” affecting its “cryptographic features” and the Delaware repair shop owner’s copy having been “repeatedly accessed and copied...over nearly three years” while the original belongs to the FBI.
They then shamelessly downplayed the lies and screeches about the laptop being Russian disinformation (click “expand”):
The contents of Biden’s laptop computer have sparked debate and controversy since the New York Post and other news organizations in the closing month of the 2020 presidential campaign reported stories based on data purportedly taken from it.
Many Republicans have portrayed this data as offering evidence of misbehavior by Hunter Biden that implicated his father in scandal, while Democrats have dismissed it as probable disinformation, perhaps pushed by Russian operatives acting in a well-documented effort to undermine Biden. Facebook and Twitter in 2020 restricted distribution of stories about the drive’s contents out of concern that the revelations might have resulted from a nefarious hacking campaign intended to upend the election, much as Russian hacks of sensitive Democratic Party emails shaped the trajectory of the 2016 election.
The Washington Post’s forensic findings are unlikely to resolve that debate, offering instead only the limited revelation that some of the data on the portable drive appears to be authentic. The security experts who examined the data for The Post struggled to reach definitive conclusions about the contents as a whole, including whether all of it originated from a single computer or could have been assembled from files from multiple computers and put on the portable drive.
The portable drive provided to The Post contains 286,000 individual user files, including documents, photos, videos and chat logs. Of those, Green and Williams concluded that nearly 22,000 emails among those files carried cryptographic signatures that could be verified using technology that would be difficult for even the most sophisticated hackers to fake.
The nearly 3,000-word story said the “cryptographic signatures are a way for the company that handles the email — in the case of most of these, Google — to provide proof that the message came from a verified account and has not been altered in some way” with any changes rendering the emails “unverifiable.”
Downplaying the 22,000 confirmed e-mails as “routine messages, such as political newsletters, fundraising appeals, hotel receipts, news alerts, product ads, real estate listings and notifications related to his daughters’ schools or sports teams” and “bank notifications,” they said others touched on his business dealings with the Chinese energy group CEFC (covered in their second story) and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
The D.C. paper retraced the journey of the Wilmington repair shop owner from when Hunter abandoned it on April 12, 2019. With Hunter refusing to return his calls and the first Trump impeachment swirling, John Paul Mac Isaac “contacted the FBI” in July 2019 and, five months later, they picked it up.
According to Mac Isaac’s lawyer, he made a copy “in case he was ever thrown under the bus as a result of what he knew.” Sure enough, his intuition was spot on.
The copy made its way outside his orbit in August 2020 via Rudy Giuliani as Mac Isaac’s other attempts to contact members of Congress failed. Shortly thereafter, it was obtained by Giuliani and then given to the New York Post.
Now, here’s where The Washington Post explained why they couldn’t easily identify its full contents. More or less, it pertained to repeated copying and slight alterations to its organization, but they were able to all but rule out hacking or manipulation (despite attempts by the liberal paper to give Resistance types reason to say it's not a done deal) (click “expand”):
In their examinations, Green and Williams found evidence that people other than Hunter Biden had accessed the drive and written files to it, both before and after the initial stories in the New York Post and long after the laptop itself had been turned over to the FBI.
Maxey had alerted The Washington Post to this issue in advance, saying that others had accessed the data to examine its contents and make copies of files. But the lack of what experts call a “clean chain of custody” undermined Green’s and Williams’s ability to determine the authenticity of most of the drive’s contents.
“The drive is a mess,” Green said.
He compared the portable drive he received from The Post to a crime scene in which detectives arrive to find Big Mac wrappers carelessly left behind by police officers who were there before them, contaminating the evidence.
That assessment was echoed by Williams.
“From a forensics standpoint, it’s a disaster,” Williams said. (The Post is paying Williams for the professional services he provided. Green declined payment.)
But both Green and Williams agreed on the authenticity of the emails that carried cryptographic signatures, though there was variation in which emails Green and Williams were able to verify using their forensic tools. The most reliable cryptographic signatures, they said, came from leading technology companies such as Google, which alone accounted for more than 16,000 of the verified emails.
Neither expert reported finding evidence that individual emails or other files had been manipulated by hackers, but neither was able to rule out that possibility.
They also noted that while cryptographic signatures can verify that an email was sent from a particular account, they cannot verify who controlled that account when the email was sent. Hackers sometimes create fake email accounts or gain access to authentic ones as part of disinformation campaigns — a possibility that cannot be ruled out with regard to the email files on Biden’s laptop.
Analysis was made significantly more difficult, both experts said, because the data had been handled repeatedly in a manner that deleted logs and other files that forensic experts use to establish a file’s authenticity.
“No evidence of tampering was discovered, but as noted throughout, several key pieces of evidence useful in discovering tampering were not available,” Williams’ reports concluded.
Along with further explaining the problems with the copy, they alluded to what the New York Post and Daily Mail exposed long ago as things beyond e-mails, vaguely alluded to former Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski, the infamous claim of ten percent of the CEFC deal being marked for “the big guy,” and how Team Biden had lied about the e-mail at the center of the original New York Post story (click “expand”):
Green, working with two graduate students, verified 1,828 emails — less than 2 percent of the total — but struggled with others that had technical flaws they could not resolve. He said the most common problems resulted from alterations caused when the MacBook’s mail-handling software downloaded files with attachments in a way that made cryptographic verification of those messages difficult.
In addition to emails, the drive includes hundreds of thousands of other documents, including more than 36,000 images, more than 36,000 iMessage chat entries, more than 5,000 text files and more than 1,300 videos, according to tallies made by Williams, who, like Green, could not definitively verify any of them. In a small number of cases, The Post was able to establish the veracity of some of these files, such as bank documents, by obtaining copies from other sources.
One of the verified emails from Pozharskyi, which was the focus of one of the initial stories from the New York Post, was written on April 17, 2015. It thanked Hunter Biden “for inviting me to DC and giving me an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together.”
When the email first emerged in the New York Post about three weeks before the 2020 election, the Biden campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer both denied that Pozharskyi had ever met with Joe Biden. Asked recently about the email, the White House directed The Post to the previous denials.
Some other emails on the drive that have been the foundation for previous news reports could not be verified because the messages lacked verifiable cryptographic signatures. One such email was widely described as referring to Joe Biden as “the big guy” and suggesting the elder Biden would receive a cut of a business deal. One of the recipients of that email has vouched publicly for its authenticity but President Biden has denied being involved in any business arrangements.
Shifting to the second story “Inside Hunter Biden’s multimillion-dollar deals with a Chinese energy company,” Viser, Hamburger, and Timberg dove into Hunter’s dealings with CEFC, much of which had long been brought to light by Bobulinski in an explosive October 27, 2020, Tucker Carlson Tonight interview.
They came out swinging: “While many aspects of Hunter Biden’s financial arrangement with CEFC China Energy have been previously reported and were included in a Republican-led Senate report from 2020, a Washington Post review confirmed many of the key details and found additional documents showing Biden family interactions with Chinese executives.”
The article said that, in just over a year, CEFC paid Hunter and his uncle Jim some $4.8 million as per “government records, court documents and newly disclosed bank statements, as well as emails contained on a copy of a laptop hard drive that purportedly once belonged to Hunter Biden.”
Of course, The Washington Post made sure to keep the President in the clear, saying they found no “evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from or knew details about the transactions” even though the ordeal “illustrate[d] the ways in which his family profited from relationships built over Joe Biden’s decades in public service.”
As they did in the first story, the Bezos paper shrugged off the “Russian disinformation” gaslighting, downplaying the move as having been raised by “Biden aides and some former U.S. intelligence officials” as well as congressional Democrats.
Doing what they had refused to do until Joe Biden was elected president, The Washington Post laid out a timeline of Hunter’s relationship with the Chinese company with “ties to the Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army” (click “expand”):
The potential energy projects Hunter Biden discussed with CEFC never came to fruition.
Nonetheless, accounts linked to Hunter Biden received at least $3.79 million in payments from CEFC through consulting contracts, according to bank records and joint agreements reviewed by The Post.
Biden received an additional $1 million retainer, issued as part of an agreement to represent Patrick Ho, a CEFC official who would later be charged in the United States in connection with a multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe leaders from Chad and Uganda. That retainer agreement, in a newly uncovered document, contains the signatures of both Hunter Biden and Ho, who was later convicted and sentenced to three years in prison.
An intermediary from CEFC initially reached out to Hunter Biden in December 2015 to set up a meeting between the then-vice president’s son and Ye Jianming, the founder and chairman of the Chinese firm, according to verified emails from a purported copy of the laptop hard drive reviewed by the outside experts for The Post.
Shortly after Joe Biden left the vice presidency, Hunter Biden and Ye met over dinner in Miami.
The two discussed business opportunities for CEFC in the United States, including a $40 million joint venture to produce liquefied natural gas in Louisiana, according to a July 2019 New Yorker report based on extensive interviews with Hunter Biden.
That deal failed. But Ye Jianming was so pleased with his initial meeting with Hunter Biden that after dinner he sent a 2.8-carat diamond to Hunter Biden's hotel room with a card thanking him for the conversation, according to the New Yorker.
The execution of the bigger consulting deal between Hunter Biden and CEFC occurred rapidly in early August 2017.
The contract, signed on Aug. 2, 2017, stated that Hunter Biden would get a one-time retainer of $500,000 and would then receive a monthly stipend of $100,000, with his uncle James Biden getting $65,000 a month.
An unsigned copy of the agreement was found on the purported copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive. A signed copy was included with bank records provided to Grassley and reviewed by The Post. Under the 26-page agreement, they agreed to jointly pursue investments under a company named Hudson West III LLC.
The money began flowing almost immediately, with the first incoming wire of $5 million arriving on Aug. 8, 2017, according to documents found on the copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop and corroborated by identical bank statements that Grassley’s office obtained from Cathay Bank for an account jointly held by Hunter Biden and CEFC executives.
After expenses and personnel costs, the bulk of the money, about $4.8 million, was directed over a 14-month period, usually in increments of $165,000, to an account linked to Hunter Biden, the documents show. During that time period, about $1.4 million was transferred from Hunter’s account to Lion Hall Group, the consulting firm that James Biden ran, according to other government records reviewed by The Post.
While they insisted the now-President had no involvement, Viser, Hamburger, and Timberg noted that, according to emails on the laptop, Joe was one of four people whom Hunter requested office keys for when he “requested changes to the fifth-floor office space he was renting” in Georgetown, including signage to read “The Biden Foundation and Hudson West (CEFC- US).”
Additionally, Hunter “provided what he said was his father’s cellphone number, saying an office representative could use it to contact his new office mates.”
As matters crumbled with CEFC, Hunter threatened a lawsuit in Delaware where he bragged about “know[ing] every judge in the chancery court.”
By November of that year, a CEFC official “dissolv[ed] Hudson West III LLC, the company that linked the Bidens to CEFC” at “an office...less than an hour’s drive from the Biden family home.”