Hunter Biden’s defense about his incriminating laptop sounds like an old joke about a trial lawyer who was accused of letting his dog bite a stranger. The lawyer’s first line of defense was that “it couldn’t happen because my dog was tied up that night.” When told there were witnesses who had seen him walking the dog, he said, “Okay, we were out walking but my dog doesn’t bite.” If that fails, then, “Well, yes, my dog did give you a little nip, but it wasn’t a bad one.” Then, “Granted, you had to go to the hospital for surgery, but you provoked my sweet pup.” If all else fails, “What do you mean I own a dog?”
That, in essence, is how Hunter Biden and his family have defended themselves against the damning information on the laptop that he abandoned at a Delaware repair shop. Or, as his lawyers might say, “allegedly abandoned in the alleged state of Delaware.” New York Post columnist Miranda Devine has aptly labeled the computer the “laptop from hell,” and Hunter is none too eager to admit ownership or culpability. Neither is his family, who see both legal and political peril in the computer’s contents.
Just look at this long list of Hunter’s defenses, one crumbling after the other, like the lawyer with a dog.
- It’s not my computer. That was Hunter’s original defense, and he still hasn’t completely abandoned it.
- I’m not sure if it’s my computer. That was his backup defense.
- I have no idea if I left any computer at that repair shop. Who knows? I’m not admitting that’s my signature on the shop’s release form. It could be a forgery. More scrambling for alternative defenses.
- What about the chain of custody for that computer’s hard drive? It’s very fishy. The information could well be fake. Lots of news media went with that defense for not reporting it: “we’re just not sure.” Of course, that’s not a defense for refusing to investigate it. That was their job, and they didn’t do it.
- The Post story about the computer is worthless because they got it from unreliable sources. Years later, CBS News confirmed that the computer’s contents were authentic.
- This stuff about Hunter’s computer has all the earmarks of a classic Russian disinformation campaign. So said 51 former US intelligence agents, many of them high-ranking and still closely connected to the intel community. Even today, they won’t admit they were wrong. Their weaselly defense is that “we didn’t actually say it was Russian disinformation, only that it had all the earmarks.” By that metric, it has all the earmarks of a classic CIA disinformation campaign.
- It definitely is Russian disinformation. That was Joe Biden’s public statement when the Post broke the story. He didn’t bother to mention “earmarks.”
- Okay, it really is Hunter’s computer. That’s what his lawyers finally seemed to say only to be called out and retract it. The lawyers managed to tie themselves in knots thanks to their scorched-earth PR campaign in anticipation of Hunter’s indictment. One of their stratagems is to threaten media outlets with lawsuits if they disclose anything on the laptop, claiming that information is private and belongs to Hunter. Unfortunately for Hunter’s team, that very threat seemed to acknowledge, for the first time, that the computer really was Hunter’s. “Oops. Not so fast,” said the lawyers. “We admit nothing. We’re not saying the computer belonged to Hunter. We’re just saying that any information on it is his personal information and you don’t have any right to share it.” Pretzel makers were embarrassed by these legal contortions.
Does the sleazy information on Hunter’s computer really matter? Only if it reveals something important about how the Biden family grifting operation worked and especially how Joe Biden contributed to it. What role did he play as vice president (and perhaps earlier as senator)? What did he know about Hunter’s contacts with foreign businesses? How did Joe’s actions in office contribute to the lucrative arrangements made by Hunter and Joe’s brothers? How were the profits shared? Remember, Joe has denied all knowledge of Hunter’s business affairs and, of course, denied profiting from them.
Hunter’s computer matters in another way, too. It reveals how deeply partisan the media has been, how determined they were to protect Joe Biden during the 2020 president campaign against an opponent they reviled. The mainstream media suppressed the laptop story after the New York Post broke it, two weeks before the election. Social media companies pitched in and did their part to kill the story. Together, they helped drag Joe Biden out of his basement lair and across the finish line.
It’s a sordid tale. And unlike the trial lawyer’s story about a dog bite, the joke seems to be on us.