Get ready for the Hunter Biden Russian Disinformation-Palozza-Thon – Daily Kos

In the next two weeks, the GOP takes control of the House and boy are they ready to do some guvermentin’!
We’re gonna hear about how Joe Biden and Democrats are secretly part of a global pedophile ring cabal that likes to drink the blood of children who’ve been abused. We’ll hear about how the January 6 Committee was all a partisan sham because Republicans voted down the Bipartisan commission, then pulled all their members from the committee because insurrection co-conspirators like Jim Jordan were rejected — and it was really all Nancy Pelosi’s fault anyway for turning down the National Guard [even though that never happened] and for not anticipating Trump would send about 10,000 stark raving crazy lunatic supporters to storm the Capital and disrupt the electoral vote.  She should have known better. Somehow.
We’ll hear about how Joe Biden has “opened” the border even though he’s been still implementing Title 42 and rejecting asylum seekers by the hundreds of thousands — actually millions — just like Trump did. But it’s gonna be his fault if Title 42 is struck down because now the border will really be open.  Even more, than it was before.  You betcha.
And then there’s the big kahuna. The giant whale.  The really really truly huge scandal that has been breathing down Joe Biden’s next since 2018 — his ne’er-do-well son Hunter who is a recovering drug addict who before that apparently made a whole lot of money doing… stuff.   I mean, not like Jared Kushner $2 Billion deal with Muhammad-Bin-Bone-Saw money.  But, y’know, he made a little cheddar cheese.
Obviously, something is rotten in Denmark, or one of those slav countries, and the GOP is here to dig and dig until they get to the bottom of it.  Yessiree.
And while doing that they will pay no attention to all the information that Russian spies provided.  Nope, not a bit.
To be fair, until the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, I would bet that hardly any of us had ever even heard of Hunter Biden or knew that Joe’s son Beau — the former Attorney General of Deleware — actually had a brother.
Who knew that?
Even fewer of us probably knew that he is a graduate of Yale Law School which is approximately twice as hard to get into as Harvard.  During his life, he worked as a lobbyist and as a financial consultant.  He had been nominated to be on a board for Amtrak by George W. Bush and had an unpaid board position with a Chinese Investment Firm.  When he was picked to join the board for Burisma Energy in Ukraine, he had been their legal representative with the David Boise law firm.  He went from advising them on abiding by U.S. Law as their lawyer, to doing so as a member of their board.
So this is where the Russian Spies come into the picture.  Specifically, Ukrainian Andrii Derkach, who has been indicted as a spy for Russia, apparently got into Rudy Giuliani’s ear to spin a little tale.
But first, a little background on Andrii:
A seven-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Andrii Derkach, 55, of Ukraine, with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA), bank fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and four counts of money laundering in connection with the purchase and maintenance of two condominiums in Beverly Hills, California. Derkach allegedly concealed his interest in the transactions and violated sanctions imposed in 2020. Derkach remains at large. The charges and forfeiture action announced today include the first use of criminal and forfeiture powers targeting the concealment of ownership by senior foreign political officials, passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021.
“The conduct of this Kremlin asset, who was sanctioned for trying to poison our democracy, has shown he is ready, willing and capable of exploiting our banking system in order to advance his illicit goals,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “The U.S. will not be a safe haven where criminals, oligarchs or sanctioned entities can hide their ill-gotten gains or influence our elections. This office, together with our law enforcement partners, will use every tool available to prosecute those who evade sanctions and abuse the U.S. financial system, and we will identify, freeze and seize criminal proceeds whenever and wherever possible.”
“Kremlin-backed Ukrainian politician and oligarch, Andrii Derkach, was sanctioned for his efforts to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election on behalf of the Russian Intelligence Services,” said Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI New York Field Office. “While participating in a scripted Russian disinformation campaign seeking to undermine U.S. institutions, Derkach simultaneously conspired to fraudulently benefit from a Western lifestyle for himself and his family in the United States. The FBI will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to identify Russian intelligence operations, disrupt Russian information laundering networks and bring to justice those who seek to engage in criminal conspiracies to undermine the integrity of U.S elections and evade U.S. sanctions.”
So, this is the guy — this fucking corrupt as a three-dollar-bill guy — that told Rudy Giuliani that Hunter Biden’s deal with Burima was somehow “suspect.”
A Ukrainian politician and businessman accused by both the Biden and Trump administrations of being an “active Russian agent,” described Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani as “very useful for me,” Time reports. In multiple meetings with Giuliani in the run-up to the 2020 election, Andriy Derkach fed the former New York City mayor information on Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden and leaked tapes in hopes of damaging Biden’s presidential campaign. In particular, Derkach advocated the theory that the Ukrainian government, not the Russian one, had been the principal interferers in the 2020 election, and were attempting to get Biden elected. Recounting one meeting with Giuliani to a Time reporter, Derkach fondly recalled Giuliani’s note-taking abilities. “I appreciate his meticulousness,” said Derkach. “He records everything. He writes everything down in his notebook.”
Derkach fed Giuliani a line that Joe Biden has intervened and had a previous Ukrainian prosecutor defrocked to save his son from embarrassing questions when years previously there was a scandal involving the CEO of Burisma who had directed contracts to his own company while he was Minister of the Environment in Ukraine.  I mean, it’s not like he took money from the Saudis, UAE and Qatar through his own Hotel in downtown DC while he was President or anything.
I mean, that would fucking corrupt, amirite?
Anyhoo.  It turns out this entire story was a crock of shit.

Donald Trump and his allies accused Joe Biden of wrongdoing because he had pushed, while vice-president, for the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor, who was investigating the company for which Hunter worked.
In 2016, Joe Biden called for the dismissal of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, whose office had Burisma and other companies under investigation.
However, other Western leaders and major bodies that give financial support to Ukraine also wanted the prosecutor dismissed because they believed he was not active enough in tackling corruption.
The issue with Shokin was that he was not investigating allegations of corruption.  He was not investigating Burisma.  He was sweeping the case under the rug.
Trump and his allies, including his personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, accuse Biden of using his position as vice president and point man on relations with Kyiv in 2016 to help Burisma — a Ukrainian energy company that was paying Biden’s son Hunter, who was on its board of directors — avoid damage from a criminal investigation.

They assert that Shokin was overseeing an active criminal investigation into Burisma and that Biden at the time told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Shokin was fired.

But Ukrainian prosecutors and anti-corruption activists with knowledge of the matter argue that the timeline of developments in the Burisma case and Shokin’s stint as chief prosecutor simply does not fit the narrative being put forward by Trump and his allies.

Moreover, they say that Shokin himself was the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the investigation.
Getting Shokin fired was official U.S. Policy.  It was also the policy of the EU and the IMF because he wasn’t doing his job.  The fact is, by removing Shokin there was a greater chance that Burisma would be investigated, not a lesser chance.
Hunter Biden had nothing to do with Burima CEO Mykola Zlochevskiy’s previous self-dealing while he had been a government official.  That was before his time, they may in fact have hired him to help cleanse their image — instead, they managed to dirty his image up. The worst allegation against Biden once he joined the board was that he was aware of a bribe paid by Zlochevskiy to Shokin’s successor as noted by the Senate GOP report into the issue.
Trump while talking to Zelensky tried to get him to announce an investigation into Burima and Hunter Biden and also — weirdly — “find the DNC Server” which Trump believed was in the hands of Ukraine because  — get this — he’d been told by Paul Manafort that the original DNC hack had been performed by Ukraine, not by Russia.
Trump’s own campaign was floating the theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, hacked the DNC as early as the summer of 2016, according to new documents obtained by BuzzFeed News from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Three years later, Trump’s call with Zelensky, where he also asked for help finding damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Biden’s family, is at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
In an April 2018 interview with Mueller’s office, Rick Gates — who had served as Trump’s deputy campaign chair in 2016 and was the longtime right-hand man of former campaign chair Paul Manafort — told investigators that sometime after the campaign learned in June 2016 that WikiLeaks had the hacked DNC emails, Manafort had said that the hack was “likely carried by the Ukrainians, not the Russians,” according to FBI notes.
The idea that Ukraine, and not Russia, was involved in stealing emails from the DNC that were released by WikiLeaks in 2016 has long percolated in conservative circles and been pushed by Russian news outlets. It contradicts the US Intelligence Community’s own findings that Russia was involved in hacking the DNC and orchestrating the release of documents through WikiLeaks.
Besides Manafort’s claims, Trump was apparently under the impression that CrowdStrike the company that had initially investigated the DNC hack was somehow connected to Ukraine, but in reality one of its chief operating officers was an ex-pat from Moscow, Russia.  He’s not Ukrainian and neither is the company.  Plus, the actual DNC servers that had been hacked were cloud-based. There was no physical server that needed to be handed over to the FBI, instead, they received a digital copy of the virtual hard drive.
So let’s do a little background on Manafort.  He had been a GOP political operative for decades but in 2006 he applied for a job with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska to “promote the Putin Agenda.”
Manafort, working as a consultant, signed a $10 million annual contract with Russian oligarch and aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in 2006 after pitching plans to help Russian interests around the world, the AP reported.
Deripaska is among Putin’s inner circle of billionaire businessman.
“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort purportedly wrote in a confidential 2005 memo to Deripaska obtained by the AP.
And Manafort — the guy who says Ukraine really hacked the DNC —  was working for Putin.  And he had a Russia Spy on his payroll, Konstantin Kilimnik.
The U.S. intelligence community has developed new information about Konstantin Kilimnik, whom they call a Russian spy, that leads them to believe the associate of ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort passed internal Trump campaign polling and strategy information to Russian intelligence services, two U.S. officials say.
On Thursday the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Kilimnik and for the first time said he passed along the data to Russian intelligence services.
According to Mueller, Manafort met with Kilimnik in New York on Aug. 2, 2016 and “months before that meeting, Manafort had caused internal polling data to be shared with Kilimnik, and the sharing continued for some period of time after their August meeting.”
So the guy who says that Hunter Biden is somehow corrupt and Joe Biden helped protect him, Andrii Derkach, is a fucking Russian spy.  And the guy who says that Russia didn’t hack the DNC, it was really Ukraine, has been working for Putin for years and had yet another Russian spy on his payroll.
That leads us to the Zelensky call where Trump says this:
Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.  
President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal  relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.  
Trump: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me. 
All of this is shit that was fed to him by Derkach — through Giuliani — and by Kiliminck and Deripaska — through Manafort.
Obviously, we know that Trump was impeached for this, then acquitted by the GOP Senate, so let’s move on.
Then there’s the issue of the “laptop from hell.”
Actually, there were three water-damaged laptops that someone claiming to be Hunter took to a local repair shop in Delaware and dropped off to be repaired or salvaged. Two of them were lost causes. The proprietor John Paul MacIsaac — who is legally blind and can’t see anything beyond 6 inches from his face — was able to transfer files from the laptop one by one to an external hard drive.
He claims what he saw during the transfers disturbed and bothered him. [Why was he looking at files he was transferring?  I have a Mac, its just drag and drop — you don’t need to read what you’re transferring, just grab a folder and go.]
There are many many problems with the laptop story.  First, the man is legally blind and can’t possibly verify that the person who dropped off the laptop(s) was in fact, Hunter Biden.
The signature doesn’t match. Hunter has stated that he never dropped any laptop of this type off at any local repair shop. The men who claimed to be FBI who came to later collect the laptop told the shop owner “If Hunter calls, we’ll bring it back” and they told him “nothing ever happens to people who keep their mouth shut” which really doesn’t sound like FBI procedure on how to handle evidence or people who provide evidence.
What he doesn’t need a Special Master or anything? It’s really fishy.
And yet, there are pictures of Hunter, amidst a drug-induced stupor, among the files copied from the hard drive. The WaPo hired two analysts to go through a copy of the hard drive they received from Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer and authenticate it — most of the messages were fairly routine:
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.
2 experts used email headers to determine veracity
Such 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. Alterations made to an email after it has been sent cause the cryptographic signatures to become unverifiable.
The verified emails cover a time period from 2009 to 2019, when Hunter Biden was acting as a consultant to companies from China and Ukraine, and exploring opportunities in several other countries. His father was vice president from 2009 to 2017.
Many of the nearly 22,000 verified emails were 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. There was also a large number of bank notifications, with about 1,200 emails from Wells Fargo alone.
Other emails contained exchanges with Hunter Biden’s business partners, personal assistants or members of his family. Some of these emails appear to offer insights into deals he developed and money he was paid for business activities that opponents of his father’s bid for the presidency sought to make a campaign issue in 2020.
In particular, there are verified emails illuminating a deal Hunter Biden developed with a fast-growing Chinese energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy, for which he was paid nearly $5 million, and other business relationships. Those business dealings are the subject of a separate Washington Post story published at the same time as this one on the forensic examinations of the drive.
The drive also includes some verified emails from Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company for which he was a board member. President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie Joe Biden to the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma led to Trump’s first impeachment trial, which ended in acquittal in February 2020.
The Post’s review of these emails found that most were routine communications that provided little new insight into Hunter Biden’s work for the company.
But on the whole many of the files — particularly the email headers  — were too compromised to be confirmed.
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.
So there is supposedly a message — which is big with the Right-wing — where Hunter supposedly says that 10% of his earnings from Burisma will “go to the Big Guy.”  Presumably, this is his father.  That message was not verified as legitimate.
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.
I don’t necessarily know that Hunter giving money to his dad is like, a crime.  They are family, they do give each other gifts at Christmas.  Famously, Joe Biden was one of the poorest members of Congress and VPs in history. He likely had many ways to use his political position to cash-in and become rich but he never did. It seems to me it would be a crime if Hunter gave him money and Joe didn’t disclose this on his financial statements or his tax returns for 2014. [Joe made $388,000 in unadjusted income that year and paid $91,356 in taxes — which is 23%.  As opposed to Trump who paid %0 in taxes for several years.] If Hunter was giving him 10% of his $50k per month salary with Burisma it would have been an additional $60,000 which is not listed in Joe’s taxes.] His returns for 2015 are largely the same. 
Some of the data on the hard drive is legitimate, just like the DNC emails, John Podesta emails and DCCC documents, but some of it is not.  Rudy and his people have been fucking with the drive destroying the chain of custody.
To understand this; we have one more thing to reveal — Burisma was hacked by the Russians.
Russian military hackers have successfully infiltrated the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of the impeachment drama surrounding President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, according to cybersecurity researchers.  
Employees of the gas company, Burisma Holdings, were tricked into giving up their computer credentials by a sophisticated network of fake websites set up by Russian military intelligence, the GRU, said Area 1, an online security firm.
     It is unclear what information the hackers sought or how deeply Burisma may have been compromised. A cybersecurity expert speaking to CNN about the situation said this was likely not the first time Russian operators have hacked Burisma, adding that Russian hackers are very aggressive in their cyberefforts inside Ukraine.  
     But in light of Burisma’s role in the unfolding political saga – in which Trump pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, who had served on Burisma’s board – the probing of the company’s systems closely resembles Russian efforts in 2016 to destabilize the US election.  
     “The timing of the GRU’s campaign in relation to the 2020 U.S. elections raises the spectre that this is an early warning of what we have anticipated since the successful cyberattacks undertaken during the 2016 U.S. elections,” said the report.  
The GRU hacked Burisma.  They had hacked the DNC, the DCCC and John Podesta to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming President. 
What exactly was there to stop them from hacking Burima? 
Similarly, could they have hacked Hunter Biden himself? Could they have gotten into his systems and copied his personal pictures and emails then stuck them on a “damaged” laptop and then dropped it off at a little local repair shop with a conspiracy-nut Giuliani-fan owner and just added a little something something extra here and there to make Joe Biden look bad? Perhaps the unverified “Big Guy” email?
I mean, it’s not like Russia doesn’t have experience with creating Kompromat — during the 2016 election they created a fake video of Obama and Hillary having sex.
A pornographic video that falsely claimed to show Hillary Clinton engaged in a sex act has been traced back to an account that Reddit acknowledged on Tuesday is linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency.
The account, Rubinjer, was the Russia-linked agency’s most popular account on Reddit and received almost 100,000 upvotes, or Reddit’s version of Facebook’s “likes,” in its lifecycle before it was shut down by the site.
One of Rubinjer’s posts on Reddit’s largest pro-Trump community, r/The_Donald, titled “This is How Hillary gets black votes,” links to an animated gif of the fake porn video that is still available on the platform. The same sex tape was posted five times to PornHub under the name “Leaked Hillary Clinton’s Hotel Sex Tape with Black Guy,” and also the porn site SpankBang.
What exactly makes you think they wouldn’t stoop to at least partially faking the laptop contents? If they’ll go this low with Hillary, why wouldn’t they go even lower with Biden?
Perhaps this is why dozens of Intel professionals have said that the laptop and it’s content are clearly a Russian Disinformation Operation.
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings. Under the banner headline “Biden Secret E-mails,” the Post reported it was given a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said he got it from a Mac shop owner in Delaware who also alerted the FBI.
While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work.
“If we are right,” they added, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”
Specifically, they state this:
Such an operation would be consistent with some of the key methods Russia has used in its now multi-year operation interference in our democracy – the hacking (via cyber operations) dumping of accurate information or the distribution of inaccurate or misinformation. Russia did both of these during the 2016 presidential election – judgments shared by the US Intelligence Community, the Mueller investigation and all members (Republican and Democrat) of the Senate Intelligence community.
Such an operation is consistent with several data points: The Russians, according to several media reports and cybersecurity experts, targeted Burimsa late last year for cyber collection and gained access to its emails. And Ukrainian politician and businessman Andriy Derkach, identified and sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for being a 10-year Russian agent interfering with the 2020 election, passed purported materials on Hunter Biden and Burimsa to Rudy Giuliani.
Our view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue is consistent with two other significant data points as well. According to the Washington Post, citing four sources, “U.S. Intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian Intelligence.”
I didn’t read that before I wrote this diary, but their opinion and what I have to say about it all are kind of uncanny. We are of the same mind.  [Now that you mention it, the entire QAnon conspiracy smells like a Russian disinformation operation too.]
To be clear the letter was signed by both Democrats and Republicans including Jim Clapper, Mike Hayden, John Brennan, Leon Panetta, Thomas Finger, John McLaughlin, Mike Morell, Mike Vickers, Doug Wise, Nick Rassmussen and dozens of others.  There was no partisan split on this opinion.
Now, like the WaPo, CBS News also had a data security expert examine the laptop files and he does confirm — again, like the WaPo — that some of the files are legitimate.  But he doesn’t say which ones.
Brian Della Rocca, the lawyer for the shop owner, provided to CBS News what he called an “exact copy” of the laptop data provided to federal investigators nearly three years ago. Della Rocca said he considers it “clean” because it predates versions that were widely circulated by Republican operatives to attack then-candidate Joe Biden before the 2020 presidential election.  
The independent analysis, by two cyber investigators from Minneapolis-based Computer Forensics Services, found no evidence that the user data had been modified, fabricated or tampered with. Nor did it find any new files originating after April 2019, when store records indicate Biden dropped it off for repair.
This digital forensic analysis was undertaken because the laptop data, as well as bank records, are at the center of the looming Republican-led House investigation into Biden family businesses.
Some other versions of the laptop data circulated later appeared to have had data added after April 2019, a sign they could have been tampered with, according to reports in other media outlets, including The Washington Post.

In a statement, an attorney for Hunter Biden said “there have been multiple attempts to hack, infect, distort, and peddle misinformation regarding Mr. Biden’s devices and data.” The attorney, Christopher Clark, said Hunter Biden’s team believes, “there are ongoing efforts to utilize the infected and distorted data to spread disinformation. At no time did any individual…have Mr. Biden’s consent to access his computer data or share it with others.
After two years of scrutiny, the laptop has produced mountains of material about Hunter Biden’s personal struggles, and his foreign business ventures in Ukraine and with China. It has not produced direct evidence President Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings.
Using an earlier — not tampered with — copy of the hard drive from Mr. MacIsaac, CBS was able to confirm the data from the laptop — but not the “big guy” email which the WaPo found on their copy and couldn’t verify as being a real email. No gun. No smoke.
As you may well know — all of this confusion has the right wing in a big tizzy.  They are claiming that the FBI contacting Twitter about accounts that had posted data — some of it pornographic — from the laptop and warning them that it could be Russian Propaganda have started a whole new “stolen election” sub scandal for Trump where he claims that if this data had been made available during the election he would have “won.”
Yeah, just like Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016 if Russia hadn’t hacked and released targeted emails to make her campaign and the DNC look bad.  You mean, like that?
Hacked data that gets released in 2016 helps Trump win, but hacked data that doesn’t get released in 2020 makes Trump lose?  Really?  Seriously?
Even if a clean copy of the drive shows the data is real, it doesn’t prove that Hunter himself — personally — placed the laptop in Mr. MacIsaac’s hands.  Again the DNC emails were real, so were the John Podesta emails.  They were just stolen and being used as propaganda.  It was Kompromat.
Again, the signature doesn’t match.  The man is blind. Hunter says he didn’t give his laptop to any repair place. The original data may be real, but practically nothing else — including how it ended up at this little shop — isn’t.  Also, where did the original laptop go — because the FBI says they don’t have it despite MacIsaac’s claims that “two FBI agents” — who he can’t identify — came to collect it. It should be held at the Delaware FBI field office then right?
Now, when Biden came into office — as is the usual habit — he replaced all U.S. Attorneys except for two.  He didn’t replace John Durham, who had been named as a Special Counsel by Bill Barr to re-investigate the Mueller investigation.  And he didn’t replace David C. Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, who was and still is investigating Hunter Biden on tax charges and also charges that the bought a gun in 2018 and wrongly filled out the purchasing form claiming that he “wasn’t a drug addict.”
Federal agents now believe they have evidence to charge the president’s son with lying on his taxes and on an application to purchase a weapon from a Delaware gun store in 2018, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Since 2018, the federal government has been investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings and whether he properly reported all of his income.  
According to a report from the Washington Post, federal agents now believe they have evidence to charge the president’s son with lying on his taxes and on an application he filled out to purchase a weapon from a Delaware gun store in 2018.
One question on the application asks if the applicant uses or is addicted to drugs. The box is checked “no.” Hunter Biden has previously spoken out in the media about his struggle with addiction to crack cocaine.
Video discovered on Hunter’s laptop computer shows him naked and brandishing a handgun in a hotel room in 2018, allegedly five days after buying the .38 caliber, according to the New York Post.
Now, in point of fact, Hunter has since paid these back taxes, so I’m not exactly sure there really is a case there.
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department has concluded that Hunter Biden has properly paid his tax bill — a major blow to right-wing conspiracy theorists who were hoping the president’s son would be charged with a crime.
Nonetheless, the investigation continues to proceed along other lines.
“Mr. Biden’s failure to pay all his taxes has been a focus of the ongoing Justice Department investigation,” reported Katie Benner, Kenneth P. Vogel and Michael S. Schmidt. “While wiping out his liability does not preclude criminal charges against him, the payment could make it harder for prosecutors to win a conviction or a long sentence for tax-related offenses, according to tax law experts, since juries and judges tend to be more sympathetic to defendants who have paid their bills.”
On the issue of the gun purchase, there is another problem.  Although Hunter has been public about his drug addiction and the fact that he didn’t become sober until 2019, he was never arrested, charged or found to have drugs on him or have to have been under the influence since he was 18 years old.  Police don’t have any physical evidence of his being a drug addict, only his words and pictures.
Can you win a drug case, if you don’t actually have the drugs as evidence in the case?  You only have pictures of drugs, which haven’t been tested to confirm that they are in fact, drugs. Again, I think that seems doubtful.
Also, I find it really weird the right wing who are always constantly shouting about their GUN RIGHTS are so energized over how someone filled out the form when buying a gun. Aren’t they against background checks in the first place?  Didn’t they cry and whine about the Fast and Furious scandal, which was an issue of someone wrongly marking a check box on the exact same form where it says “Are you buying this gun for yourself?”  Hmph. I guess everyone has a right to buy a gun no matter whether they are a drug addict or a straw purchaser —  unless their last name is “Biden” of course.
In the end, there isn’t really much here.  Hunter has been up — Hunter has been down.  He’s been all around.  The GOP is going to froth about this endlessly, just as they previously did about Benghazi, and Email-gate, and White Water.
I don’t think they’re going to actually find anything, but it’s going to be noisy.
Really noisy.
To discuss this as the various fake issues and delusions as they are brought up by the GOP congress you can join me on my Facebook group Army For Truth.
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