Trump Campaign Renews Attacks on Hunter Biden As President Trails by Double Digits in Polls

As Republican President Donald Trump lags behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by double digits in national polls, Trump's re-election campaign has renewed its attacks on Biden's son Hunter Biden, accusing the Bidens of corruption.

The Trump campaign's latest attack has been a social media blitz over an article published by The New York Post on Wednesday. The Post's article alleges that Hunter sought to use his father's role as vice president during the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama to benefit himself and Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that Hunter served on the board of from 2014 to 2019.

The Post published what it claimed were emails showing that Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi emailed Hunter in May 2014 asking Hunter for "advice on how you could use your influence" to aid the company. At the time, Burisma's president was under investigation by Ukraine's then-prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.

On April 17, 2015, Pozharskyi emailed Hunter to thank him for connecting him with his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, the Post reported.

"Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It's realty [sic] an honor and pleasure," the email read.

About eight months later, during Joe Biden's December 2015 trip to Kiev, the then-vice president said he pressured Ukraine's president and prime minister to either fire Shokin or be denied a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee.

While Shokin was fired shortly thereafter, the U.S., U.K. and other western governments had previously accused the inspector general of failing to root out corruption throughout his country.

Hunter Biden Republicans Trump attack Joe Biden
Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, has come under renewed attacks by the re-election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump in the final weeks of the election as Trump lags behind Joe Biden in polls. In this screenshot, Hunter Biden speaks during the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention. Handout/DNCC/Getty

The emails seem to contradict Joe Biden's assertion that "[I] never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings," but they were also questionably sourced from a laptop discarded at a New Jersey computer repair store in 2019.

The store's owner, John Macissac, is legally blind and was not sure if the laptop was dropped off by Hunter Biden, though he claimed to have alerted federal authorities. The FBI seized the laptop in December 2019.

Macissac gave a copy of the hard drive to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello. Trump's former advisor, Steve Bannon, told the Post about its existence in late September, and Giuliani gave the Post a copy of it on Sunday, according to the Post.

The email the Post calls the "smoking gun," however, was uploaded as a PDF with no metadata, meaning its authenticity could not be verified. There is also no evidence that the meeting between Joe Biden and Pozharskyi took place; according to the Washington Post, the day the meeting was supposed to take place, Joe Biden spoke at the White House Greek Independence Day Reception and the Congressional Fire Services Institute Gala.

Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Joe Biden's campaign, said that Biden's schedules from 2015 show no record of the meeting, according to the Washington Post. Michael Carpenter, Biden's foreign policy adviser that year also denied the reports.

"I was with the vice president in all of his meetings on Ukraine," Carpenter told the Washington Post. "He never met with this guy. In fact I had never heard of this guy until the New York Post story broke."

"We have no idea where this came from, and certainly cannot credit anything that Rudy Giuliani provided to the NY Post, but what I do know for certain is that this purported meeting never happened," George Mesires, Hunter Biden's attorney, told the Washington Post.

Regardless, the newly published story has resurrected the Trump campaign's allegations of corruption between the Bidens. In a Wednesday interview with Newsmax TV, Trump called the Bidens "grifters and crooks." His campaign convened a call with journalists about the story hours after its release and also released a 30-second ad accusing the Bidens of corruption.

Speaking at his Des Moines rally, Trump also called Joe Biden "corrupt" and said he should not be allowed to run for president.

"Just weeks ago, Joe stood before the American people in a presidential debate and told you that these claims had been totally discredited and that his son did nothing wrong," Trump said. "But now that turns out to be a total lie. Now we can see clearly that Biden is a corrupt politician who shouldn't even be allowed to run for the presidency."

Before the rally, Trump also tweeted, complaining that Facebook and Twitter had limited the spread of the New York Post story.

"So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of "Smoking Gun" emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost. It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!!" Trump tweeted.

The attacks also come just as a poll released Wednesday by the Market research company Brandwatch Qriously shows Biden beating Trump by 14 percentage points among 2,053 likely voters. While 51 percent of respondents supported Biden, only 27 percent supported Trump. An additional 8 percent remained undecided.

Other polls show Trump losing by double digits as well. One of two U.S. polls which correctly forecasted Trump's victory in 2016 electoral now has Trump losing to Biden by 13 percentage points. A new Quinnipiac poll, released last Wednesday, shows Trump losing by double digits to Biden in two battleground states: Pennsylvania and Florida.

Trump's claim of corruption against the Bidens is hardly new. He accused Hunter Biden of corruption during the first presidential debate on September 29. Trump also pressured the Ukrainian president to open an investigation into the Bidens' alleged corruption during a 2019 phone call. That phone call formed the basis for his being impeached by the U.S. House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019.

Newsweek contacted the Trump campaign for comment.