NY Magazine: The Trump Campaign And The Kremlin Are Colluding Right Now
Jonathan Chait writes in New York Magazine that the Trump campaign appears to be colluding with Russia before our very eyes with the latest attack on Joe Biden and his son, which turned up in the New York Post.
- Rudy Giuliani claims that Hunter Biden gave his laptop to a repair shop, didn’t return to pick it up despite the laptop containing embarrassing emails, and then the shop owner turned it over to Giuliani instead of trying to get paid.
- Giuliani has openly worked with Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian politician who the Treasury Department last month designated an active Russian agent.
- Chait noted that the Treasury said Derkach is “engaged in an ongoing effort to influence the 2020 election by disseminating ‘false and unsubstantiated narratives’ about U.S. officials.”
In August, the Director of National Intelligence warned, “We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice-President Biden … For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption — including through publicizing leaked phone calls — to undermine former Vice-President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party.”
- Further, “Burisma (the Ukrainian energy company whose stolen emails appear in Giuliani’s leak) was hacked in January by the same Russian GRU unit that hacked Democratic emails in 2016, according to the New York Times.”
- The New York Times reported on Wednesday that "Last month, United States intelligence analysts contacted several people with knowledge of the Burisma hack for further information after they had picked up chatter that stolen Burisma emails would be leaked in the form of an ‘October surprise.’”
- It’s possible that the “October surprise” related to hacked Burisma emails is something different from the emails published by the New York Post via Giuliani, Chait writes, but it seems highly unlikely.
- Chair further notes that Giuliani’s story about how the emails were discovered has been inconsistent, as has that of the repair shop owner who claims to have found them on the laptop Hunter Biden supposedly abandoned.
However, neither the shop owner nor Giuliani has managed to keep the story straight. In an interview with the Daily Beast, the owner “switched back and forth from saying he reached out to law enforcement after viewing the files in the laptop to saying that it was actually the Federal Bureau of Investigation that reached out to him,” and “refused to answer specific questions about whether he had been in contact with Rudy Giuliani before the laptop drop-off or at any other time before the Post’s publication.”
Giuliani seems to have forgotten that he told the Post that the computer-shop owner only knew the computer was Biden’s because it had a Beau Biden Foundation sticker. In a radio interview today, he said the owner had a document “signed by Hunter Biden [that] says that after 90 days the hard drive is abandoned and becomes the property of the merchant.” This contradicts the Post report, which stated, “The shop owner couldn’t positively identify the customer as Hunter Biden, but said the laptop bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation.”
Could one of the versions of the story being told by Giuliani and the Trump-loving computer-shop owner be true? It’s possible. But it seems way more likely that the people who used a hack-and-leak operation to influence the 2016 election and are using more hack-and-leak operations to influence the 2020 election and already hacked Burisma and are working with Giuliani right now may — just may — have had a hand in this one.