• Misdirection! Hunter Biden Conviction Hides the Real Crimes

    June 26, 2024 // 31 Comments »

    Misdirection. That’s what you call it when a magician distracts you from looking at the real point of interest, waving his right hand in the air vigorously while his left slips the selected card into his jacket pocket. You’re fooled, but you’re satisfied. You even play along.

    Well, if you like magical misdirection, you must be very happy to see Hunter Biden convicted of lying about his drug use to illegally buy a gun, making him the first child of a sitting U.S. president to be convicted of a crime. Hunter was fully guilty, no doubt, confirmed by the rapid three-hour turnaround decison reached by the jury. He’ll face a similar fate in September when he stares down three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses in California, alleging he failed to pay $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2019 while spending millions more on drugs, escorts, exotic cars, and other lux items. He is unlikely to do time in any case, though you’ll hear uninformed pundits on the MSM bellow about maximum penalties in hopes of creating the illusion of parity between the Hunter and Trump convictions. See, there’s a felon in each family, the system is fair!

    The problem is that misdirection thing.

    No court is set to look at what Hunter did to amass his millions while a crack addict, and no court is set to look at the slimy connections between Hunter’s made-and-spent fortune and his dad, the once vice president and now president of the United States. A reasonable jury might conclude Hunter made his money off peddling influence to daddy, and that daddy at the very least passively played along, and thus a court of public opinion might wonder if that leaves Joe Biden unqualified to be president (if he ever was…)

    The story, if ever told in a court or elsewhere, will get ugly quickly as they say — one can sketch in the outlines even now. Hunter, desperately addicted to drugs and sex following his brother Beau’s death, to the point where he had a scummy affair with his dead brother’s widow, needed money badly. The world responded with a whisper in his fevered ear that Hunter could set up some consulting companies and create the appearance of selling access to his father, then vice president. A grieving dad, watching his last son fall into the pit of crack addiction, tries to humor the venture along until that gets too real over some shenanigans in the Ukraine and a looming China deal (“10 percent for the big guy,” read one email.) Dad pulls the plug on his end of the caper, but Hunter keeps selling, finding foreign yokels willing to pay for the illusion of access. Along the way he taints not only Joe but his uncle Jim Biden as well. Fueled by his addiction, Hunter never stops until finally things collapse completely and he is stopped.

    As you the voter, the real jury, consider the evidence, remember a few things. Joe Biden said of Hunter, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” And during a debate with Donald Trump, Joe Biden dismissed his son’s laptop emails as disinformation from Russia. After becoming president, Joe said his son Hunter was innocent, even after Hunter pleaded guilty to tax evasion. None of that is true. Misdirection.

    This sordid story has credibility now in that in the course of the Hunter gun trial the contents of his laptop were validated by the FBI as real. The FBI of course knew for some time the laptop was real, and we explained here why a thoughtful outside observer would come to the same conclusion even without the FBI’s forensics. Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski confirmed his emails were legitimate months before the FBI. The New York Times agreed, reporting on an FBI criminal investigation into Hunter’s business and tax activities based in part on the contents of the laptop.

    Here’s what Hunter’s laptop revealed in our reading of its contents as made available to TAC and elsewhere. Hunter, with no previous experience in the energy field, joined the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma at a salary of $83,000 a month. What was his actual job at Burisma? The question is important because on April 16, 2014, while Joe was vice president, he met with Hunter’s business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House. Five days later, Joe travelled to Ukraine to lobby for increased fracking. Burisma was one of the few companies licensed to frack in Ukraine. Burisma made hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine’s new policy. Burisma eventually paid more than $4,000,000 for Hunter’s and Archer’s board service.

    While Hunter and Archer were serving on Burisma’s board, Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was investigating Burisma and its owner. In his official position as vice president, Biden demanded Ukraine fire Shokin, and threatened to withdraw one billion dollars in U.S. military aid if it did not do so. Shokin was fired.

    While serving on the Burisma board, Hunter and Archer sought meetings with senior State Department officials, including SecState John Kerry (Christopher Heinz, John Kerry’s son, is part of one of Hunter’s front companies) and then-Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Blinken coordinated the 51 intel officers’ letter that claimed Hunter’s laptop was likely Russian disinformation.) What did they all discuss? The reason to ask that question is because it appears whatever Hunter’s job description, his value to Burisma was perceived access to the Executive Branch. Joe was at least a passive participant in the scheme, maybe more than that. The most charitable reading of the sleazy saga is that Joe Biden, one of the most powerful men in the world, is a gullible idiot. At least that sounds better than “co-conspirator.”

    The laptop goes on to show Hunter, through a number of front companies, accepted money from foreign firms and moved that money to the U.S. where it was parceled out to other entities, including Joe’s brother Jim (Jim regularly invoiced Hunter for office expenses and employee costs, as well as a monthly retainer cost of some $68,000, plus other fees in the tens of thousands of dollars for unknown services.) It all smells bad — multi-million dollar transfers to LLCs without employees, residences used as business addresses, legal tricks shifting cash from Cyprus to the British Virgin Islands. Can Hunter explain why his fees traveled such circuitous routes? What did he pay Uncle Jim for, and why did Jim appear to return/kickback some of the money paid him?

    What is this money all about? in 2014, Hunter received $3.5 million from Elena Baturina, the richest woman in Russia and the widow of Yury Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow. Baturina became Russia’s only female billionaire when her company received a series of Moscow municipal contracts while her husband was mayor.

    The majority of the contents of Hunter’s laptop are a jumbled record of international business ventures. Outstanding in the haystack are a large number of wire transfers to and from clients. Those with traceable addresses appear to be mostly anonymous shell companies run out of lawyers’ offices, with no employees, and fuzzy public paper trails. A typical one involved $259,845 traveling on April 2, 2018 from Hudson West III in New York to a numbered account held by Cathay Bank in Asia. Hudson West was created by Hunter Biden’s own law firm, Owasco, with several Chinese nationals, including a Ye Jianming associate. Ye Jianming is chairman of CEFC China Energy, who reportedly had close ties to both the Chinese government and the PLA. He’s was arrested in China on corruption charges and has essentially been disappeared.

    A 2017 email chain involving Hunter brokering an ultimately failed deal for a new venture with old friend CEFC, the Chinese energy company, described a 10 percent set-aside for the “big guy,” whom former Hunter Biden partner Tony Bobulinski publicly identified as Joe Biden. Joe also took Hunter to China with him in December 2013 on Air Force 2, and met with Chinese leaders while Hunter tried to make deals on his own.

    There is a lot more but you get the picture. A lot of appearance of malarkey from a senior statesman like Joe who should have known better. In places like China and the Ukraine, where corruption is endemic, it is assumed the sons of powerful men have political access to their father. Hunter traded on those assumptions for millions of dollars, and Papa Joe stood by understanding what was happening. Every father wants to help his son, and we can imagine Hunter went to his dad time after time, pleading for just one more little favor to get past his sordid past. You know, for Beau.

    The emails are a multi-pronged series of pointers which deserve the scrutiny of a courtroom to see if there is a smoking gun. To dismiss them because they may be incomplete is to fail to understand the difference between evidence and conclusion. Let’s hope we learn the lesson before November 5.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Biden, Democracy

    The DNI Two-Step and Trump

    September 17, 2022 // 4 Comments »

    If you play poker with a guy named Doc often enough you learn to watch his hands carefully when it’s his turn to hold the deck. Same when the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Intelligence Community (IC), and the FBI sit down at the table with the American people.

    The game right now is will he or won’t he; will Attorney General Merrick Garland indict Donald Trump over something to do with classified information held at Mar-a-Lago? Everyone is holding their cards tight to the vest, but the deal just passed to the DNI and the game is about to get serious. Stakes are high; in the pot is the presidency of the United States.

    DNI Avril Haines said that DNI “will lead an Intelligence Community assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents” including those seized. She said the DNI was aiming not to interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation, to which everyone at the table had better shout “bull.” A review of potential risk means the DNI can show a pair of twos and claim they are kings. The DNI’s whole point is to interfere with the investigation, same as they did with Hunter’s laptop, Russiagate, and the Clinton server before that. The IC is as much a part of our elections now as it ever was in any other banana republic.

    It works like this: using classified methods in secret to look at classified documents the DNI will come to conclusions about what might happen to the security of the United States if those documents were to fall into “the wrong hands,” i.e., the hands of their choosing and certainly a worst-case scenario.

    Without revealing the documents’ contents or why those contents are so important, the DNI gets to say how bad things would be and your role as the public is to believe them and vote accordingly. Since it is a worst-case scenario game, the DNI will no doubt — without any evidence anyone but Trump saw the docs — proclaim nearly the end of the world, that pair of kings. The goal of course would most certainly be to influence the investigation or, more precisely, influence the public opinion outcome. It’s a remake of the January 2017 intelligence community assessment (another form of make it say what you want it to say document) which claimed, without evidence, that Vladimir Putin wanted to put Trump in the Oval Office. Or the 2020 IC letter claiming the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation.

    Right now the DOJ has very little to prosecute on, basically that Trump held on to some (maybe) classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Did anyone see them? Was there any chance a foreign adversary got a peek? DOJ needs more than simple possession (albeit a crime) to go after a once and perhaps future president and may not have it. The docs may never have left lock and key. Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes may not show Boris Badenov walking in and out of frame; enter the IC.

    The DNI document review itself will of course not be made pubic. In discussing which sources and methods might have been damaged it will need to be more highly classified than the original  documents. We’ll never see the Review. But better than the entire document, we’ll all see the leaks, the little snippets meant to take down Trump that will inevitably leach into the New York Times and Washington Post. The IC will provide the ammunition, in carefully measured amounts, DOJ needs to make the unclassified case to the public the classified stuff they’ll never see is a big, big deal.

    Conspiracy theory? Ask yourself how crime scene-like photos have already leaked from the Mar-a-Lago investigation as compared to say, the Jeffery Epstein case. Imagine a crime scene-like photo of children’s underwear strewn across the floor, stuff investigators allegedly found in Epstein’s desk. DOJ and Trump have been bickering about these documents nearly since he left office; why was the spectacular raid held just weeks ahead of the midterms?

    This is by now a familiar song. Remember the role the IC played in the 2020 election in making sure Hunter Biden’s laptop and its contents would not influence Americans.  As the New York Post broke the story that a laptop full of Hunter Biden’s files contained potential evidence of a pay-for-play scenario involving then-candidate Joe Biden just ahead of the presidential election, almost in real time more than 50 former senior IC officials signed a letter dutifully published by Politico claiming the emails “have all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The signers said their national security experience made them “deeply suspicious the Russian government played a significant role in this case. If we are right this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.” Small world — the U.S. spy chiefs who signed that infamously misleading letter, including John Brennan, Leon Panetta, Michael Hayden, and James Clapper, directed America’s IC while Biden was vice president.

    The letter was an act of evil brilliance, the weaponization of opinion. It played off cultivated prejudices from 2016 that the Russians manipulated American elections. In fact, most of the signatories — James Clapper and John Brennan among them — had played key roles in misdirecting public opinion around the DNC-server hack and later the whole of Russiagate. Among the establishment, the meme quickly became into “the laptop is fake.”

    The major difference in this case was the establishment’s willingness to actively block information. With the letter as “proof” the laptop was disinformation, the media took the handoff. Twitter locked the New York Post‘s account after the Post refused to obey Twitter’s orders to delete its own truthful reporting. Twitter even banned links to the story in direct messages. Facebook announced it would not allow discussion of the issue pending a “fact check,” which never came. Establishment media outlets labeled the laptop fake, social media blocked the news, and the public basically fell in line and voted for Joe without knowing squat about what he and his son Hunter had been up to. Many still do not.

    More recent information exposes the IC plan in greater detail, to include the FBI specifically approaching Facebook and Twitter to tell them not to allow the story. Claims of not interfering with the election were fully false, with a cover up until when it seems not to matter anymore, to boot. Like the whole of Russiagate, it was all made up, and the IC worked hand-in-glove with the Democratic media to hide information. Hunter Biden’s laptop had the potential to change the outcome of the 2020 election, and everyone knew it.

    So be careful when the inevitable DNI/IC leaks about how serious the whole Mar-a-Lago affair is show up. Now, after all that you wanna play another hand of poker with these guys? Sure, let old Doc here deal you in, sucker…

     

     

     

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Biden, Democracy