The New York Post's Hunter Biden "Scoop" Involves Some Shady Behavior by a Computer-Repair Guy - 2020-10-14

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F0.png The New York Post's Hunter Biden "Scoop" Involves Some Shady Behavior by a Computer-Repair Guy October 14, 2020, Aaron Mak, Slate Magazine

The New York Post on Wednesday published a controversial article purporting to reveal emails between Hunter Biden and a Ukrainian energy executive. Numerous journalists have questioned the reliability of the Post's reporting, pointing out that it echoes false narratives put out by the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, and that the information was provided by Rudy Giuliani, who has proven himself to be an untrustworthy source. Both Facebook and Twitter have taken steps to prevent the spread of the article out of concern that it may be inaccurate, rely on hacked material, or both.

One of the most bizarre and suspect aspects of the Post's article is the way in which the reporters say they obtained the Hunter Biden dirt. In April 2019, according to the article, an unidentified individual dropped off a water-damaged MacBook Pro at a computer repair shop in Delaware, Joe and Hunter Biden's home state. The customer never returned to retrieve the laptop or pay the bill, even though the shop owner repeatedly tried to reach out, according to the Post. The owner couldn't positively identify the customer as Hunter Biden, but he says he noticed a Beau Biden Foundation sticker on the laptop. (The repair receipt that the Post claims to have obtained also lists Hunter Biden as the customer.) The owner then looked through the laptop's hard drive and supposedly came across the emails, along with a lascivious video and images of Hunter Biden, so he alerted the FBI and handed over the devices. Before turning in the materials to the feds, though, the shop owner copied the hard drive and inexplicably decided to give a copy to Robert Costello, Rudy Giuliani's lawyer. It was Giuliani who then supplied the reporters with the hard drive's contents.

A lot of things don't quite add up about this supremely weird account of how the information changed hands, not the least of which is the supposed conduct of the shop owner. The Daily Beast ended up tracking down and publishing an interview with a man claiming to be the man in question, in which he spouted conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton and denounced Trump's impeachment as a "sham." He also said that there had actually been three laptops and that he had a medical condition that prevented him from seeing who exactly had dropped them off. The Daily Beast reported that the interviewee, John Paul Mac Isaac of Wilmington, kept changing his story about how he came into contact with the FBI.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Aaron | last = Mak | title = The New York Post's Hunter Biden "Scoop" Involves Some Shady Behavior by a Computer-Repair Guy | url = https://slate.com/technology/2020/10/hunter-biden-new-york-post-emails-scoop-computer-repair.html | work = Slate Magazine | date = October 14, 2020 | accessdate = October 23, 2020 }}