Andy McCarthy trains his trial lawyer’s eye on the evidentiary quality of the Hunter Biden laptop and its contents. He concludes:
At the moment, the known evidence overwhelmingly tends to establish that the laptop is exactly what it is represented to be: the repository of Hunter Biden’s authentic emails, documents, photos and videos. The claims that it may be Russian disinformation, or should be dismissed because of “hacking,” are frivolous.
McCarthy’s case for this conclusion begins, where it would in court, with the items of evidence themselves. As far as we can tell, nothing on their face suggests they are anything other than what those putting them it forth say they are.
Compare this, say, with the documents that CBS presented to the public in 2004 that purported to show George W. Bush shirked his military service. In that case, it quickly became apparent that the documents weren’t written when Bush was in the National Guard, as CBS claimed. They weren’t formatted the way such documents were and, in fact, the technology of that day couldn’t produce documents that looked like the ones CBS vouched for.
Here, by contrast, we have thousands of Biden photographs and videos that plainly appear to be real. Moreover, as McCarthy says, “the emails make contextual sense, and they fit what is known about Hunter Biden’s business activity (about which a great deal of investigative journalism has been done, most effectively by Peter Schweizer). And according to Fox News, one unidentified participant in an email about Hunter’s Chinese business dealings has acknowledged the email’s authenticity.
Then, there’s the fact that neither Hunter Biden nor the Biden campaign has claimed the materials are fabricated. In the case of CBS’s hit job on George W. Bush, the president and his campaign weren’t in a position immediately to deny the authenticity of the memos because they purportedly were written by others. However, the Bidens know whether the materials belong to Hunter Biden. Their failure to deny that they do is telling.
In addition, the FBI and the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office have issued a grand jury subpoena for the laptop. It’s not likely they would have done this if they had any good reason to believe the documents are fabricated.
What evidence or indications suggest that the materials are inauthentic? There’s the oddity of their provenance — the idea that Hunter Biden dropped the laptop off at a repair store and never picked it up. But Hunter Biden has admitted to drug abuse and has a record of erratic behavior. Thus, it’s plausible that he would behave that oddly.
Beyond this, I’m not aware of evidence that the materials are inauthentic. What I’m aware of are rote assertions that they are “Russian disinformation” and “hacked materials.” This amounts, in essence, to name-calling, not evidence.
As McCarthy explains:
It is said that the president’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. . .was dealing with people suspected of Kremlin ties when he investigated the Bidens’ business and political activities in Ukraine. Even if that’s true — and we don’t know that it is — what that has to do with a laptop apparently left by Hunter Biden in a Delaware repair shop is not obvious. . . .
[T]he Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, congressional Democrats and the legacy press knew for dead certain that the Steele dossier was Clinton campaign-sponsored political opposition research, sourced to Russians — a key one of whom, we now know, was suspected by the FBI of being a Kremlin asset. Far from the information being dismissed out of hand, we were taken by the media-Democratic complex on a four-year “collusion” ride.
What about allegations of “hacking?” I’m not aware of credible evidence that the hacking consists of someone somehow manufacturing the documents and causing them to appear on the laptop. That’s the kind of hacking desperate people (e.g. Steve Scully) cite to explain away incriminating material on Twitter — the adult equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”
It’s conceivable that the items in question in Hunter Biden’s case might have been hacked in the way DNC emails were hacked during the 2016 campaign, though I don’t think there’s any evidence of this here. But even if this occurred, it wouldn’t go to the authenticity of the items — only the ethics of the hackers. As McCarthy puts it, “Hacking is a bad thing, but there’s nothing about it that makes the stolen information suspect. It’s bad for the opposite reason.”
At some point, evidence may emerge that casts doubt on the authenticity of the laptop and/or the materials it contains. But as of now, that hasn’t happened. Thus, there’s no reason at this point to doubt their authenticity.