One of the first things Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives have chosen to investigate is the melange of denouncement surrounding the October 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Democrats called the hearing “silly” and a “bizarre political stunt.” Of course it’s political, but that doesn’t mean it’s silly.
See the guy in the photo above? His name is Ihor Kolomoiskiy. He’s a Ukrainian oligarch, whose home was recently raided on the order of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In March, 2021, the NY Post reported that Kolomoiskiy “reportedly has a controlling interest in Burisma, the Ukrainian oil and gas company…” You might know Burisma from the emails found on the laptop of Hunter Biden, who was on that company’s board of directors, with a $600,000 annual salary, because of who his dad is.
It’s the email story reported by the NY Post on October 14, 2020, just weeks before the election, when many people were already early voting, that the committee is focusing on. During that time, Twitter and other news outlets moved with stunning speed and surety to block that story and bury it beneath claims of being Russian disinformation. So hard was the opposition that it took nearly 18 months for the Washington Post and the New York Times to admit that the laptop and its emails were real and authentic, vindicating the Post’s reporting.
Democrats who say the hearings are “silly” want to claim that Twitter is a private company and can ban what it pleases. They also note that the Trump White House requested special treatment from Twitter, and Trump himself used the platform to promote the January 6th insurrection. All true. Twitter was between a rock and a hard place, and did its best to not give Trump reason to claim they threw the election for him. But, arguably, they kind of did.
The Hunter Biden story has legs. Within weeks of President Joe Biden taking office, his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken banned Ihor Kolomoiskiy and his family from entering the U.S., because of “significant corruption.” The oligarch’s minions are many, and one of them Vadym Pozharskyi, thanked Hunter “for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spend some time together,” the NY Poststory reported. It tied the Democratic candidate for POTUS to a crooked Ukrainian billionaire who paid his son hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Let me also say one thing about this story: It was wrong that, as President, Donald Trump tried to strong-arm newly-elected Zelenskyy into investigating the Burisma-Biden connection. Trump had no authority to do that, as Congress allocated the aid to Ukraine. But the story, and the corruption, is real. Zelenskyy had to deal with it as a condition for EU ministers to begin the process of considering his nation for membership. The corruption, a vestige of the old Soviet Union, and a path for Russia’s Putin to exercise power in his quest to overthrow Ukraine, is still embedded in Ukraine, war or no war. Zelenskyy ran on a platform to get rid of it, before he became a war hero.
The coverup of the NY Post story is real. Twitter did everything in its power to stop and discredit the story. The FBI did nothing to lend the story credence. The U.S. intelligence community, not a friend of Trump, did nothing to lend the story credence, though they undoubtedly had evidence it was real.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was wrong when he said Twitter “got played” by the FBI. Twitter played itself, as many of the “Twitter files” documents released by Elon Musk to selected reporters shows. They wanted to believe that the story was fake, and they acted on that belief. In the heat of the campaign, this very well could have changed some votes, if the story had been real. We don’t know.
Congress spend months delving in to Trump’s role in January 6th. It’s not “silly” that they should now look at the Hunter Biden story, and how that story might have affected the election.
Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.
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