Trump seizes on dubious Biden-Ukraine story

Ruben Fields
October 15, 2020

US President Donald Trump demanded that former Vice-President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden release e-mails and other documents detailing his son Hunter's global business interests in the wake of a New York Post story linking the Bidens to a Ukrainian energy company that figured in Trump's impeachment investigation.

The Post claims the shop owner says "he made a copy of the hard drive and later gave it to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello".

After a day of social media outrage and online recriminations, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the company's missteps in blocking the sharing of a report from the New York Post that could be damaging to Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

The newspaper reported that the recovered data came from an abandoned laptop and hard drive at a fix shop near DE in April 2019.

And they didn't. So they said they had - they were walking out to a press conference.

The New York Post obtained a "smoking gun" email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma in 2015, thanking Hunter Biden for arranging a meeting with then-Vice President Biden in Washington, DC.

"Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post". Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place. The computer and its hard drive were seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in December.

Another potential alarm is the involvement of another Trump associate, Steve Bannon, who the Post says first alerted it to the emails and who along with Giuliani has been active in promoting an anti-Biden narrative on Ukraine.

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Biden had previously told the media, "I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings". "They take him down". In pushing for the firing of Viktor Shokin, Biden was acting in concert with official US foreign policy and other allied nations who viewed Shokin as corrupt.

Companies like Twitter and Facebook, already under pressure to police their platforms ahead of the election, quickly flagged the article and moved to restrict its accessibility online - an action decried by Trump and his supporters, including congressional Republicans.

"While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners", Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted Wednesday.

Twitter users clicking on a link to the Post story received a warning saying the content is "potentially spammy or unsafe".

Twenty days until the election.

Trump's called for a full accounting of Biden's conversations with Hunter and with Pozharskyi.

Mr Biden has repeatedly rejected such allegations.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Post shared a trove of emails from the younger Biden.

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