If the Hunter Biden laptop controversy is true, then they could be election deciding.
Emails on the laptop allegedly show: the son of the former vice president used his father’s position in government to personally gain tens of millions of dollars; coordination and relationships between Hunter and major figures in the Russian, Chinese, and Iraqi governments; they show Hunter engaging with underage girls (including at least one episode of video calling an underage girl while he was naked); and, they show Biden being a recipient of tens of millions of dollars himself.
The Biden campaign has sought to discredit the emails as fake and described them as a foreign disinformation campaign.
So, how much credence should be given to the emails and laptop controversy?
Thomas Rid, a professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and Washington Post contributor, confusingly said the emails should be looked at as “a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.”
“Take a step back, and the Russian interference of 2016 holds valuable lessons on what to do and what not to do in 2020,” he wrote, as the Washington Examiner reports. “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.”
The take comes as mainstream media outlets have mostly buried the controversy, including some censorship and flat-out bans by some social media platforms for sharing the story.
Daily Caller editor Geoffrey Ingersoll shared the WaPo “Perspective” piece online, calling it “an incredible admission.”
“The hubris it must take to issue journalistic marching orders this contrived in full view of the public,” Ingersoll added.
What an incredible admission in the Washington Post, wow. The hubris it must take to issue journalistic marching orders this contrived in full view of the public. https://t.co/TfRvHwl2N4 pic.twitter.com/t20o7KzpfK
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) October 25, 2020
Rid, in his opinion piece, called Rudy Guiliani—who received the contents of the laptop a year after its contents were first discovered and nine months after the contents were first handed over to the FBI—a “soft target” for foreign interference efforts.
“Giuliani had been actively searching for dirt on Hunter Biden on trips to Ukraine, practically advertising his willingness to become a useful idiot on unknown terrain, exposed to some of the world’s most aggressive and sophisticated intelligence services,” he continued per the report.
The Biden campaign has brushed the controversy as “Russian misinformation” and candidate Joe Biden denied the allegations at the second presidential debate.
“If we see tonight from Donald Trump these attacks on Vice President Biden’s family, I think we need to be very, very clear that what he’s doing here is amplifying Russian misinformation,” said deputy Biden campaign manager Kate Bedingfield shortly after the debate.
While the Biden campaign and mainstream media outlets have described the controversy as a Russian effort, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe denied that Russia is involved.
“The IC and DOJ are in lock-step on this: there is absolutely zero evidence or intel that the laptop or the information contained therein is a Russian op,” he said via the Washington Examiner. “Schiff and the former officials making unfounded statements or signing their names to open letters are proving themselves to be the gang who couldn’t shoot straight.”