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15 October 2020 08:37

2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden

US panel probing Hunter Biden emails from Trump ally

UPDATED: and took action Wednesday to limit distribution of a New York Post story citing emails purportedly revealing evidence of influence-peddling by Joe Biden's son Hunter — a disputed allegation that has never been corroborated. According to a Twitter spokesperson, the company determined that the New York Post story violated the social media company's hacked material policy, which bans "the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets." In the Hunter Biden story, the Post said the emails it reported were part of "massive trove" of data on a laptop that was left at a Delaware computer repair shop in 2019. Regarding Twitter's citation of its hacked material policy in blocking tweets of the story, the Post in its editorial said, "Our story explains where the info came from, and a Senate committee now confirms it also received the files from the same source." The Post also complained that neither Facebook or Twitter restricted the New York Times' series of exposés on Donald Trump's tax returns; the Times has asserted that the information "was legally obtained by reporters" but it has not revealed its sources so as to not "jeopardize" them. A rep for Joe Biden's presidential campaign said in a statement to Politico that the New York Post never inquired about "critical elements of the story." Specifically, the Post "never raised that Rudy Giuliani — whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported — claimed to have such materials," Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said. "Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as 'not legitimate' and political by a GOP colleague, have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing," Bates said.

However, the report also said, "The Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine," claiming that Hunter's business ties in Ukraine put State Department officials in an "awkward" position because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. President Donald Trump blasted rival Joe Biden's family after new emails said to be from Hunter Biden's laptop were revealed, calling the family 'grifters.' Trump used the 'grifter' term – which critics including Rep. Adam Schiff recently applied to the president himself – following the release of emails that have unmasked some of Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine at a time when his father had an influential role with the country as vice president. They're grifters and crooks, and this is what we're running against,' President Donald Trump said of Joe Biden's family after emails and photos from Hunter Biden's laptop became public after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided them to a newspaper 'So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of 'Smoking Gun' emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost,' Trump tweeted Wednesday. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone tweeted earlier Wednesday: 'While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners.' Giuliani, the former New York Mayor and Trump lawyer during impeachment, has put forward the extraordinary claim that the Chinese government has obtained explosive non-public emails from Hunter Biden's laptop – which he says contains 'illegal' information which he helped push out and tried to get authorities to probe. Giuliani says the laptop, the contents of which he says made it his way via a computer repair store owner, contains at least 1,000 photographs, a few of which made it into the New York Post Wednesday in a story that also explored possible influence peddling.

The Donald Trump lawyer says he wanted the information out two years ago – and blasted FBI director Chris Wray for failing to do a 'damn thing' after he said the store owner handed over the same information in the fall of 2019. Information on Hunter Biden's laptop has 'to be possessed by the Chinese government,' said Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said it included 1,000 photographs HOW HUNTER'S EMAILS EXPLODED AS TWO WORLDS COLLIDED January 2009: Hunter Biden (right) quits lobbying because his father has become vice president, and sets up investment and advisory firm firm Rosemont Seneca with friends Christopher Heinz - John Kerry's stepson - and Devon Archer (left), a former Kerry aide July 2010: Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, who owns its biggest natural gas company Burisma joins the government of its president Viktor Yanukovych February 2014: Yanukovych is deposed in a revolution which claims scores of lives and Burisma Zlochevsky is thrown out of government too April 16: Burisma is secretly accused of money-laundering by Britain's Serious Fraud Office. He phones a staffer at Biden's office to it could 'create perception of a conflict of interest.' That month Viktor Shokin takes office as Ukraine's prosecutor general, despite already being the subject of questions about his own links to corruption April 17: Email from Hunter's laptop shows Pozharskyi writing Hunter: 'thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some together.' Summer: The Burisma investigation appears to become dormant January 2016: Biden travels to Ukraine amid mounting international disgust at Shokin. He got fired.' Shokin in fact is finally removed from office in March after internal turmoil in Kyiv 2018: Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani starts 'investigating' the Bidens' links to Ukraine, enlisting the help of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are now indicted on fraud charges. They give him a grand jury subpoena to hand it over, even though he was going to anyway Early January 2020: The FBI tell MacIsaac not to talk to anyone and to stall if a Biden representative comes to get the laptop back February: Trump is acquitted at end of his impeachment trial September: Steve Bannon, Trump's ex-aide and now indicted on fraud charges, tells New York Post about existence of laptop October 11: Giuliani gives Post the hard drive October 14: Post publishes emails and partially-clothed pictures of Hunter from the laptop - one of them with an apparent crack pipe - and says it has an 11-minute sex-and-drugs video.

His comments pointing at China came as Twitter and Facebook blocked sharing of the New York Post story about the cache of emails pending verification, and some outside observers raised the prospect of a potential Russian-backed hack and leak operation, and pointed to Giuliani's past collaboration with Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach in search of information on the Bidens. I'm raising this because this defends my client' – Trump, said Giuliani, without saying if he was referring to the laptop specifically or Hunter Biden generally. Archer is now convicted in a separate fraud after federal prosecution in New York Vadym Pozharskyi Adviser to the board of Burisma who thanked Hunter in April 2015 for 'opportunity to meet' his father, then the vice-president. The Senate Homeland Security Committee says it is seeking to 'validate' information provided by a computer store owner who says he copied data from Hunter Biden's hard drive after the former vice president's son sought computer repairs. Joe Biden's presidential campaign on Wednesday dismissed the story and emails that purported show Hunter making an introduction between his powerful father and a Ukrainian energy firm.

A trove of emails obtained from Hunter's laptop and revealed by Giuliani showed Hunter making an effort to introduce his father to an adviser at his Ukrainian gas firm before the then-vice president lobbied for the firing of a prosecutor who had investigated the company. Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi thanked Hunter Biden for 'an opportunity to meet your father' in an email sent in 2015, according to the stash of data given to the New York Post by Giuliani. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said the paper 'never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story...moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.' Bates said: 'Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as 'not legitimate' and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. The emails shed new light on the younger Biden's business dealings in Ukraine, which were at the center of the Trump impeachment probe and which the president has repeatedly tried to use against the Democratic nominee. The Post story made unconfirmed allegations of influence peddling by Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, with a Ukrainian energy company. The story was based on purported emails from Hunter Biden that were retrieved from a laptop and reportedly supplied to President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who gave them to the Post. President Trump told a crowd in Iowa Wednesday that alleged emails from Hunter Biden were a "smoking gun" showing that former Vice President Joe Biden "blatantly" lied about his involvement with his son's business dealings in Ukraine. Bates added: "Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place."