During the final presidential debate, Democratic nominee Joe Biden brushed off the evolving scandal of his son Hunter Biden’s “smoking gun” emails by claiming the entire scandal was “a Russian plant.” Even at that time, many sources had effectively debunked the claim that the scandal was “Russian disinformation.” Yet the final nail in that coffin came on Sunday, when the president of Russia himself, Vladimir Putin, covered for Joe Biden.
“Yes, in Ukraine he [Hunter Biden] had or maybe still has a business, I don’t know. It doesn’t concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians,” Putin said, Reuters reported.
“But well yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don’t see anything criminal about this, at least we don’t know anything about this [being criminal],” the Russian president said.
Reuters suggested that the remarks seem “an attempt to try to curry favour with the Biden camp.” The Russian president has praised Trump in the past and he attacked Biden’s “sharp anti-Russian rhetoric,” but Putin also pledged that he will work with whichever candidate wins the U.S. presidential election.
Reuters also claimed that “No evidence has been verified to support the allegations” of the Hunter Biden emails scandal. On the contrary, the balance of evidence strongly supports the scandal, especially after Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, came forward and offered his phones to the FBI and to a Senate committee.
The Hunter Biden email scandal
While Joe Biden served as the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine, his son Hunter — who had no experience in fossil fuels — was named to the board of a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. The VP’s son reportedly raked in $83,000 each month for the gig. Later, his father pressured the president of Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who says he was investigating Burisma at the time.
The new emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop, first reported by The New York Post, appear to demonstrate that Joe Biden met with a Burisma executive months before he pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor.
When Biden was also Obama’s point person on China, Hunter Biden entered into many lucrative deals with the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese state-owned businesses. Hunter’s deals arguably endangered American military and nuclear secrets, and the Obama administration went soft on China at the time.
Bobulinski claimed that Joe Biden was involved with Hunter Biden on the Chinese deals, and he presented his own devices as evidence.
Democrats and former intelligence officials pushed the “Russian disinformation” narrative shortly after The New York Post published its bombshell story — which Facebook and Twitter rushed to suppress.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), notorious for pushing the narrative that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, claimed that “this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.”
Many former intelligence officials wrote a letter claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop and the emails it revealed seem to be Russian disinformation, though they acknowledged they “do not have evidence” to prove that claim. Much of the legacy media appears to have overlooked that pesky little caveat, running with the claims that the story is likely false.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe rebutted this claim, as did the FBI and the Department of Justice. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claims his staff independently confirmed the veracity of the laptop, and paperwork for the laptop appears to bear Hunter Biden’s signature.
The Biden campaign has not directly claimed that the laptop and the emails are a fabrication, instead merely repeating the argument that the whole scandal is a “Russian plant.”
During the debate, Biden cited the former intelligence officials’ letter as if it were concrete proof the entire Hunter Biden scandal was a “Russian plant.”
Trump expertly mocked Biden’s baseless assertion.
“You mean the laptop is now another Russia! Russia! Russia! hoax?” Trump asked, flabbergasted. “Is this where you’re going? The laptop is Russia! Russia! Russia!? You’ve got to be kidding. Here we go again with Russia.”
Biden on Trump calling Hunter’s computer “the laptop from hell”:
“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he is accusing me of is a Russian plant.” pic.twitter.com/JqFhGocxt0
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 23, 2020
If the Hunter Biden email scandal truly were a Russian plant, why would Vladimir Putin undercut his own efforts by covering for Hunter Biden? Why not just avoid the issue?
Democrats need to get their story straight. If Russia has cooked up this scandal, why did Putin defend Hunter Biden? Is the Russian president merely performing a head-fake? Is Putin lying? Or maybe, just maybe, could it possibly be the case that Hunter Biden really is corrupt and Joe Biden really was involved?
The “Russian disinformation” argument never was plausible, and it seems Democrats are running out of ways to make this scandal disappear.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.