A blown investigation? Or one never conducted?
Joe Biden looks set to announce his candidacy for POTUS as soon as this week…. Why does one get the sense he is — literally — running? As in, away? As things catch up with him?
The New Podcast
First off: I convey the exciting news that the podcast is now up in our members’ area. This is the first one we’ve posted here, and in it Chris and I do a simple breakout of all the investigations Hunter Biden is facing — and what they could mean for Dad.
As we enter the fifth year of Delaware US Attorney David Weiss’s (interminable) “investigation,” this week’s podcast is a verbal cheat-sheet to help you keep all the players straight.
We’ll be posting a (literal) accompanying cheat-sheet over at opsdesk.org this week. Look for it as the campaign — and the investigations — heat up.
The podcasts will continue here weekly (as long as the beer holds out).
(And a special thanks to all those who’ve clicked the “paying subscriber” button here. It allows us to upgrade the site, add some bells and whistles, etc. You’re the best!).
You’ve Been Operated Upon (did you feel the pinch?)
The mothership of most of the investigations swirling around the Biden Crime Family (I’m sorry; that is no longer hyperbole) is the infamous Laptop From Hell.
As I said last week as a (flattered!) guest on Fox News’s Outnumbered show: As someone who worked in intelligence for many years, the notion that 51 intel officers were willing to sign a letter declaring Hunter Biden’s laptop a likely “Russian disinformation operation” was shocking.
The new revelation that Anthony Blinken and Mike Morrell coordinated the entire affair “to help Biden win the election” was equally shocking. And infuriating.
Folks, the notion that the laptop was fake was ludicrous from the start.
First off, it was clearly Hunter who dropped the thing off. While the store owner couldn’t recall Hunter’s physical appearance a year later (when the story broke) — and the shopowner is legally blind, to boot — the man who dropped off his computer for repair identified himself as Hunter Biden and signed a receipt. Expert handwriting analysis confirms the signature on the computer’s receipt as Hunter’s.
Additionally, for the entire computer to have been a forgery, the Russians would have had to have accessed myriad sources to gather the materials — or have had access to Hunter’s actual laptop at some point.
Then a Russian asset (who could mimic Hunter’s handwriting) would have had to take this faked laptop in for repair. Then Moscow would’ve had to count on the fact that at some point before the election, the unwitting storeowner would discover the contents and decide to come forward regarding the laptop’s contents.
I’m sorry — as an old boss of mine used to say, “this doesn’t pass the giggle test.”
And there is one more thing: Hunter has never denied the laptop is his. He knows he can’t.
The laptop was brought in to the shop by Hunter. That is the overwhelming likelihood.
Now, assuming the laptop was Hunter’s: Was it still compromised at some point?
There are realistically only two possibilities for how the derogatory information (emails, texts, etc.) could have been inserted under this scenario: :
ONE: The material was inserted while the repair shop had the laptop. We can be certain that the shopowner is not a Russian asset — too obvious, and the FBI undoubtedly looked at him hard. He’s not in on it. He’d be in jail.
Further, no evidence of a break-in has ever been put forth. And a remote access to hit Hunter’s laptop while it was in the shop counts on the idea that it will at some point be put online, in an identifiable way, with Russian cyber operatives poised and ready to deliver a hacking package — one that a computer repair expert wouldn’t notice. Possible, but again, a remote scenario. And very risky.
But as any investigator knows, the repair-shop theory could easily have been disproven with a bit of legwork. As the material-in-question was mostly emails and texts, a simple investigation into the people on the other end of these communications could’ve verified the laptop’s authenticity.
One or two lousy subpoenas or search warrants served on email companies would’ve led quickly to the conclusion that the communications were likely real — the communications would’ve been visible there. A few follow-up interviews would’ve only supported this.
And interviews with any of the women present in the laptop’s videos would’ve provided further corroboration.
TWO: The material was inserted while Hunter still had the laptop. Well, um, wouldn’t he have noticed emails, texts, and videos he didn’t produce showing up in his communications? And how could the Russians have counted on Hunter taking the laptop into a shop to be repaired? If he was so stoned that he didn’t notice 200 gigs of stuff on his laptop that wasn’t his, he likely wouldn’t have done anything with his misbehaving computer except snort coke off it.
And if even this (ludicrous) scenario had occurred… it again could’ve been disproven by the steps outlined above (as the revelations of Tony Bobulinski amply demonstrated).
Note: None of the 51 signatories of the infamous letter requested verification of the laptop from the FBI (who’d been in possession of a copy for over a year, and could’ve done all of the above). They instead leapt to the narrative about a Russian operation.
(Mike Morrell, John Brennan, Leon Panetta, General Michael Hayden, and John McLaughlin — five former CIA Directors who put their names to the letter)
The Takeaway: That 51 intel “professionals” were willing to believe this was a Russian operation means either: (a) they were not very good at their jobs; or (b) They signed the letter blinded by ideology — or even knowing it was probably inaccurate.
I am actually more troubled by the latter (more likely) possibility. As incredible as their lack-of-acumen might be, the fact that they were all willing to risk what amounts to a false flag operation on fellow Americans, in order to influence an election, without first asking the FBI’s assessment… well, that is damn close to criminal.
Every single person who signed that letter has forfeited their right to be taken seriously again on “Intelligence Matters” (the name of Morrell’s podcast, btw).
Congratulations, signatories. Our intelligence services — whose working-level folks I admire greatly — will likely never be fully trusted by the American people again in our lifetimes.
But That Said: Trump Blew It
Recall a simple fact: by the time the laptop’s existence and its possible revelations about candidate Joe Biden came to light, the laptop had been in the possession of the FBI for a full year.
As the story broke, then-President Trump was traveling, preparing for a campaign rally. It was three weeks before Election Day, 2020.
Now, the President is the head of the executive branch. The FBI is directly under his command.
As the left’s proxies screamed, “Russian disinformation!” and the right screamed, “Hunter is dirty and it leads to Joe!”, all President Trump had to do was command FBI Director Chris Wray to appear the next morning in the Press Room of the Hoover building in D.C.
The phone call should’ve gone like this: “Mister Wray, the country needs to know the truth here — both sides have their claim, and the matter is vital to the integrity of our next election. You will give a clear and honest assessment of the laptop’s veracity at tomorrow’s press conference.”
If he says the FBI doesn’t know the answer yet? Fire him — he’s lying. Any competent cyber team would’ve verified the laptop to a “high level of confidence” in a month. Then get the Deputy Director to give the presser.
Instead, Trump went to a rally and danced around to YMCA. I’ll never understand it.
(FBI Director Chris Wray — whose Assistant Cyber Director told Congress in May, 2022: “I don’t know where the laptop is.”)
But Does It Matter?
The laptop’s contents are likely real — and Hunter is a skell. But should this impact Joe Biden’s fitness for office?
Some polls say that had the laptop been verified, it would’ve swung the election. I’m dubious.
And people on the right are pretty willing to overlook plenty when it comes to Donald Trump, no?
So: What’s different about Joe Biden?
It comes down to this: Did his business dealings compromise his decisions as President?
That, to me, is the only salient question. And with all that is beginning to emerge: Stay tuned….
That’s all for now, folks. See you later in the week…. And please stay safe!
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!