Now that the New York Times has finally, after eighteen months, confirmed the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop story, other mainstream media outlets are doing so, too. The Washington Post did so a few days later, and others are following. The latest back-pedaling performance, by Yahoo News chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff, came on Monday and is especially ironic.
Isikoff was mocked on social media for his reaction to the Times’s mid-March story. He tweeted, “…didn’t see this coming.”
In the category of – didn’t see this coming : The @nytimes confirms the authenticity of Hunter Biden emails derived from his laptop that had been previously dismissed as Russian disinformation. pic.twitter.com/nK7xnD0fP2
— Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff) March 17, 2022
Here at The DrillDown, though, we did see this coming, because we have been on the Hunter Biden story for four years. Even if this story is now, as co-host Eric Eggers says, “everywhere, like the pollen in Tallahassee,” it is important to avoid the media’s mad rush to play catch-up and remain focused on what the Hunter Biden story means. This week’s podcast is not a victory lap for Peter Schweizer but a chance to explain one more time why this story matters so much.
It matters because it shows how President Joe Biden and his administration have changed his story several Times as details of Hunter’s business dealings in China, Ukraine, and other places were exposed. First, in August of 2019 while campaigning in South Carolina, Joe Biden denied his son had made any money in these deals. Then, confronted with details of the many ways Hunter had made money, Joe Biden denied having any knowledge of it, despite Hunter’s documented flight aboard Air Force Two while Joe was visiting China as Vice President. The laptop revealed Joe’s code name among Hunter’s business associates was “The Big Guy,” as they discussed over email and text messages recovered from that laptop who would get what percentage of a deal they were engaged in with a Chinese businessman. Joe Biden has tried hard to shift the goalposts, as Peter says, each time the ball has moved farther down field.
If you are a reporter worth your salt, once you finally admit that the laptop’s contents confirm the reporting Peter did in Secret Empires in 2018 and in Profiles in Corruption in 2020, you don’t stop there – you pursue the questions raised by the authentic documents. That is what the FBI is doing, and it becomes more likely every day that Hunter Biden may be indicted not just for tax evasion but for money laundering as well.
What else are the media still not understanding? Why else does this story matter?
It matters because of the people and companies that were on the other end of the deals Hunter engaged in, as Peter and Eric discuss. Such as:
China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), in which Hunter Biden’s investment company became an “anchor investor.” As Secret Empires reported, CGN was receiving stolen information obtained through espionage by Chinese American engineer named Ching Ning Guey and passed along by another engineer named Allen Ho, who happened to live in Wilmington, Delaware, five minutes from Joe Biden’s own home. Both men were investigated and indicted on espionage charges in 2016, for stealing American nuclear secrets on behalf of the Chinese government, through the work of the FBI.
Then there is Patrick Ho (no relation), who was arrested by federal agents in New York for money laundering and bribery in late 2017. Ho was the assistant to Ye Jianming, an oil tycoon who ran an energy company called CEFC which has known links to the Chinese military. Hunter had numerous meetings with officials from CEFC and would later admit that Ye had sent him “a large diamond” after one of their meetings. After Patrick Ho was arrested, it appears that Ho’s first phone call while in custody was an attempt to reach Hunter Biden by calling James Biden, Joe’s brother. James gave him the number. All of this and much more may still be found in Peter’s follow-up book, Profiles in Corruption, published in 2020, in case Isikoff or reporters at the New York Times are still curious.
The laptop contents did reveal one interesting tidbit: in messages with his business associates, Hunter referred to Ye Jianming as, “the f***ing spy chief of China.” Patrick Ho paid Hunter $1 million to represent him in these charges, though there is no evidence, as Peter notes on the show, that Hunter ever did any legal work for him.
Are reporters curious what that amount of money was for? It is hard to say. And you can’t ask Ye Jianming, who returned to China and has apparently disappeared.
They might also review Hunter’s investment firm buying 50 percent of an American company called Henniges, which is a Michigan technology company. Peter detailed that story in Secret Empires and explains it briefly here: “The other half of [Henniges] was bought by the Aviation Corporation of China (AVIC). AVIC has a long history of stealing technology and applying it to Beijing’s military, their stealth fighter. Stealth fighter technology was stolen from the United States. It was stolen by AVIC. So, these are the kinds of companies that Hunter Biden’s firm was investing in, and the problem is that Henniges develops anti-vibration technologies, which are considered “dual use” because they have military application. In fact, you cannot export them without the approval of the federal government.”
Why is it that this investment firm on whose board Hunter Biden sits has an ownership stake? Why are they buying these military-linked companies? These are serious questions that show that this story is not just about a politician’s kid getting rich but has serious national security implications. It is too serious a question to be swept away by reporters who only want to consider the politics of the president’s son being indicted for tax evasion.
Finally, this story matters because it shows that the son of the then-Vice President of the US was actively engaged in business dealings with shady characters and spies whose mission was to help Chinese military and strategic capabilities, yet this did not seem to trouble him or even slow him down. Some may remember the scandal surrounding President Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy, getting involved with Libyans, but Hunter’s activities appear to far eclipse that.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz may be right in telling one reporter that the Hunter Biden laptop story has a “long, long road” before it reaches Joe Biden. “You’d have to prove complicity by quote, ‘the big man,'” Dershowitz told Newsmax. “It’s not enough for ‘the big man’ to be mentioned in an email. There have to be emails from the person who was the target or the subject of the investigation.”
Perhaps so, but this leaves even more troubling questions wide open. Anyone who studies how intelligence agencies around the world work to get the information their governments want knows that the best way to do it is to compromise people in a position to help them get it. Whatever “catch-up” the media is doing now needs to explore the particularly important, very troubling possibility that the Biden family has been compromised by foreign intelligence-connected operatives and has been for several years.
That is the story the American people need their news sources to cover.