Three weeks before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the New York Post published a bombshell storyalleging that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had engaged in corruption while serving as vice president in 2015. The story was based on emails retrieved from his son Hunter Biden’s laptop, which had been abandoned in a Delaware computer shop.
However, the story was immediately nixed by Big Tech in what the Guardian described as an “unprecedented step against a major news publication”. Twitter users were blocked from posting the link, and then-White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, even had her account locked for doing so.
Five days later, an open letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials claimed that the emails’ arrival “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”. This prompted an article in Politico with the headline ‘Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say’.
When then-President Trump brought up the Post’s allegations in the final election debate, Joe Biden was able to respond, “Look, there are 50 former National Intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of, is a Russian plan”.
Forensic analysis subsequently confirmed the authenticity of many of the emails, although this was long after the election. And in February of this year, Hunter Biden “all but admitted” the laptop belonged to him.
It’s impossible to know whether the election result would have been different had the former intelligence officials not signed the letter. (In all likelihood, it would have been the same.) Nonetheless, their intervention now looks remarkable given its timing and the fact that it was based on absolutely no evidence.
Read More: Biden Campaign Behind Claim That Hunter Biden Laptop Story Was “Russian Influence Operation”, New Testimony Suggests