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The FBI is investigating the damning Hunter Biden emails — not for the myriad of crimes they expose but to see if they are a “Russian disinformation operation.”
The Associated Press and NBC News cited sources who said the bureau is investigating whether foreign intelligence operatives had a hand in releasing the emails, which Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to The New York Post last week.
Giuliani’s handling of the emails has prompted allegations that Russia or another foreign government may have been involved in obtaining or releasing the documents. Giuliani’s critics have noted that he has met several times with Arkady Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who the U.S. sanctioned in August because of his ties to Russia.
Derkach released audio files earlier this year from 2016 of then-Vice President Joe Biden speaking with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Giuliani has denied any foreign involvement in procuring the emails. The Biden campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer have also not disputed claims made by a Delaware computer store owner who says he provided the emails to Giuliani.
The shop owner, who has been identified as John Paul Mac Isaac, told The Post that a person he believes to be Hunter Biden dropped off a laptop for repair in April 2019.
Isaac told reporters that after the customer failed to come back for the computer, he looked at its contents and became disturbed by images and documents stored on the device.
Isaac said that an intermediary contacted the FBI on his behalf about the computer, and that he made a copy of the hard drive before investigators seized it through subpoena in December 2019.
Isaac said he recently provided Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, with a copy of the hard drive. Giuliani provided documents from the computer to The Post late last week.
The newspaper has run a series of stories on the emails, which purport to show Biden discussing his work for Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and with Chinese business partners.
Perhaps the most eye-catching email released so far was from a Burisma executive who thanked Hunter Biden in April 2015 for “the opportunity” to meet his father. Joe Biden had previously denied discussing business with his son.