It only took them 769 days.
CBS News said Monday that it confirmed the authenticity of data from Hunter Biden’s former laptop — more than two years after The Post first revealed its contents ahead of the 2020 presidential election — as the first son’s lawyer complained that he didn’t “consent” to the release.
The laptop links President Biden to his son and brother James Biden’s overseas influence-peddling, but high-ranking former US intelligence officials initially claimed it was likely Russian disinformation and the story was censored by Twitter and Facebook before the election.
Most large news outlets ignored the laptop’s contents until recently. CBS’s report follows belated verification of the laptop in March by the Washington Post and New York Times.
CBS correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that she received a copy of Hunter Biden’s hard drive from former Delaware computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, and that Minnesota computer scientists led by former Secret Service computer crimes expert Mark Lanterman said the files appeared legitimate.
Lanterman’s firm determined that the laptop’s contents accumulated over the course of time, as would be expected, and that there was no evidence that the documents were altered by outsiders.
Herridge did not specifically say which documents from the laptop were determined to be authenticated, including an infamous May 2017 email that described a 10% cut for the “big guy” as part of her reporting — but said that two sources confirmed to her that Joe Biden was the person identified as the “big guy.”
“Two of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, including Tony Bobulinski, who received the email, told CBS News that the 10% ‘held by H for the big guy’ was shorthand for 10% held by Hunter for his father,” Herridge reported. “The author [of the email, James Gilliar] has not responded to CBS News’s questions.”
Mac Isaac says that Hunter Biden brought the laptop to his Delaware shop and never picked it up. He adds the FBI took the original laptop in December 2019 after he alerted the bureau to its contents. In October 2020, he provided files from the device to The Post.
“At no time did any individual, including Mr. Mac Isaac, have Mr. Biden’s consent to access his computer data or share it with others,” Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, griped to CBS,
Clark also said, without providing any specific examples, “There have been multiple attempts to hack, infect, distort and peddle misinformation regarding Mr. Biden’s devices and data.”
The incoming Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), said Thursday that he will help lead GOP efforts to learn about Joe Biden’s connection to his family’s business endeavors.
“This committee will evaluate whether this president is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars. This is an investigation of Joe Biden,” Comer said.
The first document reported by The Post from Hunter Biden’s laptop described Joe Biden’s attendance at a 2015 dinner at DC’s Cafe Milano to which his son invited an array of associates — including a representative of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which paid Hunter Biden up to $1 million pear year while his father led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
Documents on the laptop show Hunter Biden also invited to that dinner a trio of Kazakhstani businessmen and Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.
Baturina allegedly paid $3.5 million in 2014 to a firm associated with Hunter Biden and remains one of just a handful of Russian billionaires not to face US sanctions in response to this year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Online business records also indicate Hunter still holds a 10% stake in BHR Partners, a Chinese state-backed private equity firm that manages $2.1 billion in assets and takes a prominent role in acquiring overseas assets.
Hunter Biden co-founded BHR Partners in 2013 within weeks of joining then-Vice President Joe Biden aboard Air Force Two on an official trip to Beijing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hunter introduced his dad to incoming BHR CEO Jonathan Li in a hotel lobby and Joe Biden later wrote college recommendation letters for Li’s children.
In the separate Chinese venture that made mention of the “big guy” getting a cut, Hunter and James Biden earned $4.8 million from CEFC China Energy — an arm of Beijing’s foreign-influence “Belt and Road” initiative — in 2017 and 2018, according to the Washington Post.