Ex-intel officials suspect Russian involvement in Hunter Biden stories

  • More than 50 former intelligence officials wrote a public letter Monday stating they were “deeply suspicious” that there was Russian influence in the dubious New York Post stories published about Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
  • In the letter, first reported by Politico, the intel officers said they believe the stories about emails purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden have “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
  • The tabloid came into possession of the computer’s contents, which purportedly belonged to Hunter and contained the emails and other materials that the Post wrote about, after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani delivered a copy of the hard drive to the outlet.
  • The intel officials wrote they believe the arrival of the contents, which they dubbed a “laptop op,” to the tabloid was a cause for suspicion, “as the publication of the emails are clearly designed to discredit Biden.”
  • “It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy,” the officials wrote.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dozens of former intelligence officials signed a public statement Monday expressing their doubts about the authenticity of the Hunter Biden emails published by the New York Post.

In the letter, first reported by Politico, more than 50 intelligence officers said they believe the stories about emails purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, have “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

“We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case,” they wrote in the statement.

The dubious article from the Post, headlined “BIDEN’S SECRET E-MAILS,” suggested that Joe Biden, then vice president, used the power of his position to help his son Hunter, who formerly sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth wrote about the Biden allegations, saying “there is no evidence that these claims hold merit, and they’ve been debunked by intelligence assessments, news reports, congressional investigations, and witness testimony.”

Sheth also reported the Post’s stories many “red flags” and spoke to former spies who said that the incident has revealed how vulnerable Giuliani and others are to Russian disinformation.

The tabloid came into possession of the computer’s contents, which purportedly belonged to Hunter and contained the emails and other materials that the Post wrote about, after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani delivered a copy of the hard drive to the outlet.

The laptop was left at a repair shop, and the shop’s owner, a Trump supporter, gave material from the computer to Giuliani.

The FBI is now investigating whether the emails were part of a foreign intelligence operation, following a Washington Post report that Giuliani was targeted by Russian intelligence.

The intel officials wrote they believe the arrival of the contents, which they dubbed a “laptop op,” to the tabloid was a cause for suspicion, “as the publication of the emails are clearly designed to discredit Biden.”

“Such an operation would be consistent with some of the key methods Russia has used in its now multi-year operation to interfere in our democracy — the hacking (via cyber operations) and the dumping of accurate information or the distribution of inaccurate or misinformation.”

“It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy,” the letter concluded.

The dozens of intelligence officials weren’t the only ones who were skeptical — some journalists at the New York Post also expressed doubts in publishing the emails’ contents. The New York Times reported that at least two writers refused to put their bylines on the story, one of whom was mostly responsible for writing the story, two Post employees told The Times.

A reporter for the Post told New York Magazine’s the Intelligencer that they thought the stories were “very flimsy.”

Another journalist said the reporting on the stories was “not something that meets my journalistic standards,” adding that they “should not have been published.”

source.

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