CEOs of Twitter & Facebook Subpoenaed Over Suppression of Reporting on Hunter Biden's Emails
Do you want to hear from the CEOs of Twitter & Facebook about their suppression of the Hunter Biden reports?
by Causes | 10.22.20
What’s the story?
- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding the social media giants’ suppression of reporting about emails sent by Hunter Biden regarding his overseas business dealings and their potential connection to Vice President Joe Biden, who in the past insisted he had nothing to do with his son’s business dealings.
- It’s unclear when Dorsey and Zuckerberg will be called to testify before the Judiciary Committee pursuant to the subpoena, although they’re already scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, October 28th, where they will be joined by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
What are the reports about Hunter Biden’s business dealings?
- The New York Post was first to release a series of reports detailing alleged emails from Hunter Biden involving his business dealings in Ukraine and China and their connection to his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden. Since then, Fox News has done additional reporting, and one of Hunter Biden’s former business partners who was part of some of the correspondence has come forward to validate their authenticity.
- An email sent to Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on May 12, 2014, by Burisma advisor Vadym Pozharskyi asked Biden for advice “on how you could use your influence” to send a message and “stop what we consider to be politically motivated actions”. The exchange occurred shortly after Biden joined the board of Burisma. Another email sent by Pozharskyi to Biden on April 17, 2015, read, “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
- Also of particular note is an email sent by James Gilliar, an international business consultant, to Hunter Biden on May 13, 2017, as he was pursuing a deal with Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co. The email to several recipients stipulating the pay Hunter would receive as chair or vice chair of the venture. It also outlined a provisional equity distribution for partners, listing “20 H” in reference to Hunter and “10 held by H for the big guy” without clarity as to who “the big guy” is.
- The former business associate of Hunter Biden who came forward, Tony Bobulinski, was included on the email thread and mentioned as the CEO of the venture, receiving a 20% equity stake referenced as “20 TB”. Bobulinski explained in a statement:
“The reference to “the Big Guy” in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other “JB” referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother. Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing.“
- In a text message from Gilliar on May 20, 2017, Bobulinski was told, “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face, I know u know that but they are paranoid”. Bobulinski explained that eventually he became concerned with the business deal with the Chinese venture:
“I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.”
- At a press conference ahead of the presidential debate, where he was invited as a guest of the Trump campaign, Bobulinski said he met in person with Joe Biden about Hunter’s business ventures, and explained why felt the need to go public with his concerns:
“I have heard Joe Biden say that he has never discussed business with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden…
I was told this past Sunday by somebody who was also involved with this matter that if I went public with this information, "It would bury all of us, man, the Bidens included." I have no wish to bury anyone. I have never been political. The few contributions I have made have been to Democrats. But what I am is a patriot, and a veteran. To protect my family name and my business reputation, I need to ensure that the true facts are out there.”
- Bobulinski added that he is giving his electronic devices and records of business dealings with Hunter and Jim Biden to the FBI for their investigation, and is fully cooperating with the requests for information from the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees. His statement concluded:
- The Biden campaign and Hunter Biden haven’t challenged the authenticity of the emails but have denied any wrongdoing, and former Vice President Joe Biden has dismissed the claims as a “smear campaign.”
- The campaign said it has no record of a formal meeting with the Ukrainian businessman on official schedules, but told Politico it hasn’t ruled out that a cursory, informal encounter occurred. Ahead of Thursday night’s presidential debate, Biden Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said:
“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.”
- National security officials have refuted on claims that Hunter Biden’s emails are Russian disinformation, as Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Monday said:
“Let me be clear, the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff or any other member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign. It’s simply not true.”
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation later released a statement that it has “nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence.”
What are the laptop’s alleged origins?
- The Post reported that the water-damaged laptop was one of three dropped off by Hunter Biden at a Delaware computer store in April 2019 with the owner-operator, John Paul Mac Isaac. Isaac is legally blind and can only see a few feet in front of him, so he wasn’t able to identify Hunter Biden, but has an invoice in Biden’s name with a signature.
- The only salvageable laptop bore a “Beau Biden Foundation” sticker (named after Hunter’s late brother, the former Delaware attorney general), and wasn’t picked up by Hunter within 90 days, so it was considered abandoned under the invoice terms and became the store owner’s property.
- Isaac said he first searched the emails during the summer of 2019, then in September contacted an intermediary about them, who then contacted the FBI. The FBI made a forensic copy of the laptop at first, then confiscated the laptop and hard drive in December 2019 pursuant to a subpoena, but Isaac made a copy of the hard drive before turning it over to the FBI and made additional copies since then.
- Isaac, a Trump supporter who was frustrated by the president’s impeachment, gave Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani a copy of the hard drive. U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly warned the White House that Giuliani could be the target of a Russian influence operation, but there is no evidence to date that Hunter Biden’s emails or laptop were planted by Russia.
Burisma, Ukraine, and Impeachment
- Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, particularly with Burisma, became a national controversy in 2019 during the impeachment of President Donald Trump after it was revealed the president mentioned Hunter in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, 2019:
“The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
- Hunter Biden was reportedly paid $50,000 per month to serve on the board of directors of a Ukrainian natural gas company in Crimea called Burisma Holdings beginning in 2014 while his father was vice president. A Ukrainian prosecutor named Victor Shokin was looking into corruption allegations involving Burisma, but was ousted by the government after the Obama administration and other Western European nations threatened to withhold military aid unless Shokin was fired as part of an anti-corruption push. In 2018, former Vice President Joe Biden bragged about the role he played in the prosecutor’s firing when he visited Ukraine in December 2015:
"I said, 'You're not getting the [$1 billion]. I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a b****. He got fired."
- Amid the controversy, Hunter Biden said in an interview with ABC that, in retrospect, he probably would not have been asked to be on the board if he wasn’t the vice president’s son. State Dept. officials in Ukraine reported in 2015 that “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” No wrongdoing has been proven on Hunter Biden’s part and he left Burisma’s board in 2019.
- Republicans have asked the FBI to verify whether it had Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop during the impeachment, arguing it would’ve been a “gross error in judgment and a severe violation of trust” if it withheld the information from President Trump’s legal team. Hunter Biden’s emails weren’t part of the public record during those proceedings or a subsequent Senate Homeland Security Committee probe of his foreign business dealings. The House ultimately voted to impeach President Trump on December 18, 2019, while the Senate acquitted him on February 5, 2020.
- DNI Ratcliffe Says Hunter Biden’s Laptop & Emails ‘Not Part of Some Russian Disinformation Campaign’ (10/19/20)
- Twitter and Facebook to Face Congressional & Regulatory Scrutiny After Platforms Blocked New York Post’s Reports on Hunter Biden (10/19/20)
- GOP Report: Hunter Biden’s Burisma Ties ‘Very Awkward’ for U.S. Officials Seeking to Reduce Corruption in Ukraine (9/23/20)
— Eric Revell
Black Friday or Black Plague? Here Are Best Buy's Holiday PlansWe covered the major retailers this week. We close with Best Buy:
by Causes | 11.27.20
Black Friday or Black Plague? Here Are Target's Holiday PlansWe'll be covering the major retailers this week. We continue with Target.
by Causes | 11.26.20
Unauthorized Immigrants in the Census, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, and More on the Supreme Court’s December DocketWhat's the story? The Supreme Court convenes for its December argument session on Monday, November 30th. The December session
by Causes | 11.26.20