As Hunter Biden FBI Probe Rolls on, Laptop Story Resurfaces After U.S. Claims About Russia

Lively speculation surrounding a laptop allegedly belonging to President Joe Biden's son Hunter has resurfaced after a declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence elicited fresh debates as to whether or not Russian interference came into play.

In October 2020, The New York Post alleged a trove of emails in a laptop left at a computer repair store in Delaware revealed the younger Biden's business interests in Ukraine and China. His then-presidential candidate father's team has issued a blanket denial of the allegations.

Hunter Biden remains under investigation by the FBI and the IRS for issues relating to his tax filings which, according to The Associated Press, probes into his China dealings.

The intelligence report, declassified on Monday, found Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian state to have "authorized and conducted influence operations against the 2020 U.S. presidential election," which were "aimed at denigrating President Biden and the Democratic Party," "supporting former President Trump" and "exacerbating sociopoliticial divisions in the US."

Democrats have alleged the Post's laptop story was part of a Russian disinformation campaign. While the intelligence report does not make explicit mention of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden or its materials, it states the following: "Russian state media, trolls, and online proxies, including those directed by Russian intelligence, published disparaging content about President Biden, his family, and the Democratic Party, and heavily amplified related content circulating in US media, including stories centered on his son."

The report also stated Moscow used "proxies linked to Russian intelligence to push influence narratives" to "US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration."

The declassified version of the report did not disclose "specific intelligence reports, sources, or methods."

Despite the document's vague language, some believed it was proof enough to cast doubt on the Hunter Biden laptop narrative.

"Hey, New York Post and everyone else who got suckered into the ridiculous Hunter Biden Laptop story. Take a bow," tweeted HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte.

Journalist Eric Boehlert posted: "to surprise of nobody, Hunter laptop story has now been confirmed as Russian disinformation priority."

Since the report did not mention the laptop or directly link it to Russian disinformation, others saw it as a contradiction to claims that it was concocted by the Kremlin.

Richard Grenell, who served as director of national intelligence under former President Donald Trump, tweeted the Hunter Biden laptop story was "NOT Russian disinformation as the Biden team keeps spinning."

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald accused media personalities who believed the report to confirm Russian influence in the laptop story—some of whom retracted erroneous claims the report explicitly mentions the device—of having "fabricated assertions that the report did not even allude to, in order to declare their lies from last October to be vindicated."

Amid revived debates over the laptop and its alleged materials, Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) said The New York Post was "censored and suppressed for a true story about Hunter Biden," in reference to Facebook and Twitter restricting the story's spread as the authenticity of its claims came into question.

"Will the Washington Post be censored by Big Tech for spreading misinformation about Trump?" he tweeted.

In QAnon circles, evidence-free claims of the FBI admitting to having "accidentally" destroyed Hunter Biden's laptop have gone viral. The allegation appeared to originate from a viral tweet, which linked to an article claiming an FBI agent said the device was smashed as actor Kelsey Grammer defecated on the shattered pieces.

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Hunter Biden gestures during a World Food Program USA awards event in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2016. Biden was again the center of debates revolving around a laptop that allegedly belonged to him that reportedly contained incriminating materials. Kris Connor/WireImage/Getty