Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Former U.S. spies warned in 2020 that the Hunter Biden scandal had Russian fingerprints. They feel vindicated now.

By 37ci3 Feb24,2024


of the Ministry of Justice claims This week, a longtime FBI whistleblower sought to “spread misinformation” to harm President Joe Biden after speaking with Russian intelligence agents brought new attention to an old debate:

To what extent, if any, did the Russian government prepare or enhance unproven allegations of corrupt dealings by Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine?

In the request to cancel the bail, the prosecutors said that he was an old informant Alexander Smirnovaccused of lying to the FBI last week when he said Joe Biden received $5 million in bribes in 2020 “is actively pursuing new lies that could affect the U.S. election after meeting with Russian intelligence officials.”

The allegation that Smirnov is spreading new lies about Joe Biden came in an episode from the 2020 election, when the question of whether Russian spies were trying to smear Joe Biden was first raised.

Incriminating information allegedly from Hunter Biden’s laptop surfaced in the New York Post article. Soon after, 51 former intelligence officials blasted the media by signing letter warning that the laptop story “has all the classic hallmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter continued: “We want to emphasize that we do not know whether the emails are authentic or not, and we have no evidence of Russian involvement – ​​simply that our experience leads us to suspect that the Russian government played a significant role in the crime. this issue.”

The laptop data includes embarrassing photos of Hunter Biden with prostitutes and emails detailing his business dealings in Ukraine and China. The mainstream media ignored it, while Twitter and Facebook placed restrictions on sharing the New York Post story.

After major news organizations checked parts of the laptop material, the letter has become the focus of anger among Donald Trump and his supporters. They told a group of mostly Biden supporters that “lying spies” wrote and accused them of interfering in the election, saying that their letters prevented the coverage of a bad story about their candidates.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed some of them for sworn interviews and published a May report “How Senior Intelligence Community Officials and the Biden Campaign Worked to Mislead American Voters.” Some have been threatened with death.

Alexander Smirnov, left, leaves a Las Vegas courthouse on February 20, 2024.
Alexander Smirnov, left, in a Las Vegas courtroom Tuesday.AP

Now many of those former officials say They believe they are justified in the charges brought against the FBI informant.

No public evidence has emerged that points to a role for the Russian government in how the notebook materials were released to the public. But former officials say the materials bolstered narratives consistent with Russia’s efforts to impeach Biden in corruption that continue to this day, and therefore warranted alarm.

“This confirms what we’ve been warning about,” said Mark Polimeropoulos, a 26-year CIA veteran who oversaw Russia-related operations. “Our warning was a cautionary warning. The Russians would push this story about Hunter Biden and corruption to hurt Joe Biden.

Polimeropoulos, who spent most of his career fighting terrorism, said he and his family received emails and numerous phone calls saying he should be hanged. Another signatory, John Sifer, a former CIA operations officer, says he has also been threatened.

Sifer said the group never claimed the material about Hunter Biden was fabricated — only that the story fit the narrative put forth by people with ties to Russian intelligence, including some who met with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and adviser in Ukraine. Giuliani provided the laptop materials to the New York Post.

“It’s always been an ugly political game from the beginning,” Sifer said. “Anyone who actually bothers to read the letter will understand that the focus is on warning about Russian sabotage efforts ahead of the 2020 election.”

He added: “Recent revelations show that we are far-sighted. I’d like to be proud, but the important issue remains the same – foreign interference in American democracy and the unethical, cynical, and faithless behavior of members of Congress charged with overseeing our vital institutions.”

Russell Dye, spokesman for the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee, responded:

“The Hunter Biden laptop was always real and always verified. They knew it, or should have known it, and they still got away with their fake letters. The people who signed the letter should not be acquitted.”

The Judiciary Committee report included excerpts from an interview with former CIA acting director Michael Morell, who asked Polimeropoulos to draft the letter. Morell admitted doing so after contacting then-candidate Biden’s top foreign policy adviser, Anthony Blinken, who noted the New York Post story.

The announcement was characterized by Republicans as more evidence that the letter was a political maneuver. Most, if not all, of the signatories favored Biden over Trump in the 2020 election. Among them were James Clapper, who served as President Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence, and Leon Panetta, Obama’s director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Secretary of Defense.

There is no doubt that the letter helped Democrats deny the Biden family’s corruption allegations. “I have 50 former national intelligence officials who say there’s a Russian plot that I’m indicted on,” Biden said, quoting Trump when he raised the issue during the presidential debate.

But the signatories said they expressed genuine concerns that went beyond who would win the election. Those 51 former officials weren’t the only ones concerned about Russia’s attempts to smear Biden. NBC News informed In October 2020, the CIA and other spy agencies gathered intelligence on Giuliani’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence agents, and he conducted a sordid search on Biden and passed their findings on to the Trump White House.

American intelligence agencies spied not on Giuliani, but on the people he spoke to, including Andrii Derkach, whom the Treasury Department identified as a Russian agent. In the process, US spy agencies learned that Derkach and other Russian operatives had been in contact with Giuliani and wanted to give him information to discredit Joe Biden.

In this context, the appearance of the laptop around the same time raised suspicions, especially when the New York Post reported that it had been obtained from Giuliani, who bought the material from the owner of a Delaware computer repair shop. Store owner Hunter Biden said he brought it and never picked it up.

Materials from the laptop became evidence in the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, which resulted in a pair of indictments charging him with tax and gun crimes. He pleaded not guilty. An investigation recently filed in court by Special Prosecutor David Weiss, the lead prosecutor in the case, said investigators confirmed the laptop material and computer were stored at the store.

“In August 2019, IRS and FBI investigators obtained a search warrant for the defendant for tax violations. [Hunter Biden]is an Apple iCloud account,” the document says. “In response to this warrant, in September 2019, Apple removed data backups from the defendant’s various electronic devices to his iCloud account. Investigators also later recovered an Apple MacBook Pro that the defendant had left at the computer store. A search warrant was also obtained for his laptop, and the search results duplicated much of the information investigators had already obtained from Apple.”

It was Weiss who indicted Smirnov last week, accusing a whistleblower of lying to the FBI when he passed on information that Joe and Hunter Biden each received $5 million in bribes in 2015 from Ukrainian executives of Burisma, a company that paid Hunter Biden millions. will sit on his board with dollars.

NBC News reports informed that the bribery allegations were investigated and denied by the Justice Department during the Trump administration. But they became part of the effort by House Republicans to impeach Joe Biden. And the investigating prosecutor, former Pittsburgh US Attorney Scott Brady, testified In October, he told the House Judiciary Committee that the FBI viewed the informant as a “credible source.”

It is not clear when or why this changed. In a filing this week seeking to revoke Smirnov’s bail, prosecutors said he “repeatedly lied to an FBI agent after a 10-year relationship in which the two spoke almost daily” and that he had “extensive” ties to Russian operatives. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice declined to comment. Hunter Biden’s attorneys said in a filing that the whistleblower’s alleged lies irreparably tainted the case against him.

“Smirnov’s contacts with Russian officials with ties to Russian special services are unsavory,” the document says, adding that his “attempts to spread disinformation about a candidate for one of the two major parties in the United States continue.” … This shows that the disinformation he is spreading is not limited to 2020. After meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November, he actively welcomes new lies that could affect the US election.”



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By 37ci3

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