FBI in­ves­ti­gates Bi­den email leak for foul play

Lap­top con­tain­ing Hunter Bi­den mes­sages seized as Trump is as­so­ci­ated with con­spir­a­cies on Twit­ter

The Daily Telegraph - - Front Page - By Nick Allen in Wash­ing­ton

The FBI is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the ex­po­sure of Hunter Bi­den’s emails was linked to a for­eign in­tel­li­gence ef­fort to un­der­mine the US elec­tion. Agents seized com­puter equip­ment con­tain­ing the emails last year, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments. The New York Post has pub­lished some of the emails, in­clud­ing one from an ad­viser to the Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma, where Hunter worked while his fa­ther, Joe Bi­den, was vice pres­i­dent. The ad­viser thanked him for set­ting up a meet­ing with his fa­ther.

THE FBI is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the ex­po­sure of Joe Bi­den’s son’s emails was linked to a for­eign in­tel­li­gence ef­fort to un­der­mine the US elec­tion.

Agents seized a lap­top and hard drive con­tain­ing the mes­sages at the end of last year, ac­cord­ing to a sub­poena is­sued by a US district court in Delaware. They are look­ing at po­ten­tial for­eign in­volve­ment, NBC News re­ported.

On Wed­nes­day, the New York Post pub­lished some of the emails, in­clud­ing one from an ad­viser to Ukrainian energy com­pany Burisma, for which Hunter Bi­den worked while his fa­ther was vice-pres­i­dent.

In the 2015 email, the au­then­tic­ity of which has not been ver­i­fied, the ad­viser thanked Hunter Bi­den for set­ting up a meet­ing with his fa­ther.

Joe Bi­den’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign team has de­nied that any such meet­ing took place.

It has pre­vi­ously been re­ported that Burisma’s com­put­ers were in­fil­trated by Rus­sian mil­i­tary hack­ers to­wards the

end of last year. Shortly be­fore the 2016 US elec­tion, Rus­sian hack­ers breached the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee’s sys­tems, lead­ing to the leak­ing of emails em­bar­rass­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton, the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, US in­tel­li­gence be­gan sus­pect­ing last month that emails taken from Burisma could emerge pub­licly be­fore the 2020 elec­tion. The owner of a com­puter re­pair shop in Delaware has come for­ward pub­licly to say he made a copy of the hard drive be­fore it was seized by the FBI, and passed it to an as­so­ciate of Rudy Gi­u­liani, Don­ald Trump’s per­sonal lawyer. Mr Gi­u­liani then passed it to the New York Post. It is not yet clear whether Hunter Bi­den or some­one else dropped the lap­top off at the re­pair shop and aban­doned it there.

Face­book and Twit­ter took steps to limit users’ dis­tri­bu­tion of the New York Post story, prompt­ing Repub­li­cans to ac­cuse them of cen­sor­ship. Twit­ter later changed its pol­icy on ma­te­rial it sus­pected of be­ing hacked, say­ing it would la­bel content to that ef­fect rather than block­ing users from shar­ing it. Last night, the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee filed a com­plaint with the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion over Twit­ter’s de­ci­sion to limit shar­ing of the New York Post story.

The com­mit­tee ar­gued that it was an “il­le­gal cor­po­rate in-kind po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tion” to the Bi­den cam­paign.

It ac­cused Twit­ter of be­ing a “par­ti­san ac­tor” that had “used its cor­po­rate re­sources to pro­vide ac­tive sup­port for Joe Bi­den’s cam­paign in vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral law”.

Mean­while, Mr Trump and Mr Bi­den took part i n com­pet­ing town hall events, which were broad­cast on sep­a­rate tele­vi­sion net­works at the same time. Pre­lim­i­nary view­ing fig­ures sug­gested that Mr Bi­den won the com­pe­ti­tion for view­ers, with 12.7 mil­lion to Mr Trump’s 10.4 mil­lion.

Mr Trump re­fused to de­nounce the Qanon con­spir­acy the­ory, which falsely claims the US gov­ern­ment is con­trolled by a “deep state” ca­bal of anti-trump Sa­tanist pae­dophiles.

The pres­i­dent said: “I know noth­ing about Qanon. I know very lit­tle.

“What I do hear about it, they are very strongly against pae­dophilia. I do agree with that.”

He was also ques­tioned over his de­ci­sion to retweet a false con­spir­acy the­ory, from a Qanon-linked Twit­ter ac­count: that Navy Seals killed a body dou­ble of Osama bin Laden, and that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion cov­ered it up.

Mr Trump said that he was just “putting it out there” and “peo­ple can de­cide for them­selves”.

Sa­van­nah Guthrie, host of the town hall, re­sponded: “I don’t get that. You are the pres­i­dent, not some­one’s crazy un­cle.” At­tack­ing the pres­i­dent for his han­dling of the pan­demic, Mr Bi­den said: “We’re in a sit­u­a­tion where we have 210,000-plus peo­ple dead, and what’s he do­ing? Noth­ing. He’s still not wear­ing masks.”

Later, Mr Trump shared on Twit­ter a post from a satir­i­cal web­site. The ar­ti­cle jok­ingly said that Twit­ter had “shut down its en­tire so­cial net­work” on Thurs­day to pre­vent the spread of neg­a­tive news about Mr Bi­den.

Mr Trump wrote: “Wow, this has never been done in his­tory.”

Sup­port­ers of Joe Bi­den are ar­rested out­side Don­ald Trump’s town hall event at the Pérez Art Mu­seum in Mi­ami, Florida

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.