Questions Mount About Controversial Hunter Biden-China Dossier - 2020-11-11
In the weeks leading up to the presidential election, a document detailing Hunter Biden's purported connections to the Chinese Communist Party circulated in the far-right online ecosystem. The 64-page document, which is styled as a confidential "intelligence report," claims to reveal new links between the Chinese government and Hunter Biden, the son of then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. It also alleges Chinese influence operations aimed at "cultivating" Hunter Biden and, without giving concrete evidence, accuses the elder Biden of altering his stance on China as a result of his son's work there. "BIDEN shifted his view from hawkish to dovish after HUNTER began receiving entrée into Chinese elite political and financial institutions," the dossier alleges.
Published online in September, the dossier has been heralded as evidence of the Biden family's corruption by Steve Bannon, Newt Gingrich, and Q, the mysterious figure behind the conspiracy theory QAnon. The China dossier also served as a kind of prequel to a series of stories published in late October by the New York Post. Together, the China dossier and the Post stories, which were based on the contents of a laptop associated with Hunter Biden, appeared calculated to sow doubt about the elder Biden's fitness to govern by drawing unsubstantiated connections between the son's poor judgment and the father's politics.
In late October, disinformation researcher Elise Thomas discovered that both the firm whose logo appears on the China dossier, Typhoon Investigations, and an associated analyst named Martin Aspen were fake. Martin Aspen is not the only invention in this strange saga, however, The Intercept has learned. Online bios describing the blogger who first published the dossier misrepresent significant aspects of his background. The blogger, Albert Marko, has variously presented himself as a pollster, an international relations buff, and a U.S. congressional expert. Public records show that he is a Florida resident who has launched a variety of mostly inactive businesses, including in software, painting, and cosmetics.