Byron York's Daily Memo: The future of Hunter Biden’s laptop

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Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.

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THE FUTURE OF HUNTER BIDEN'S LAPTOP. Many -- actually, most -- big press and social media organizations have ignored and even suppressed news that has come from Hunter Biden's laptop. They started the censorship just before the 2020 election, when Biden's father Joe was on the presidential ballot and vulnerable to negative news, and they're still censoring today.

But in the past few weeks there has been a stream of stories, in the New York Post and a few other outlets, based on information contained in the Biden laptop. The stories are significant and suggest, but do not prove, shady financial dealings in the Biden family. The question is whether some media organizations will finally admit there is news on the laptop.

The most important thing to remember is that the Hunter Biden laptop story is not about Hunter Biden. It's about Joe Biden, President of the United States. So with that in mind, look at some of the recent stories:

The New York Post columnist Miranda Devine recently wrote that Hunter Biden functioned as a "family breadwinner" while his father was in public office, both in the Senate and as vice president. Examining documents from the laptop, Devine reported that there is evidence Hunter Biden paid for the upkeep of his father's house in Wilmington while his father was vice president.

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"The bills [that Hunter Biden paid in June 2010] included $2,600 to contractor Earle Downing for a 'stone retaining wall' at Joe's Wilmington estate," Devine wrote, "$1,475 to painter Ronald Peacock to paint the 'back wall and columns' of the house, and $1,239 to builder Mike Christopher for repairs to the air conditioning at the cottage of Joe's late mother, Jean 'Mom-Mom' Biden, which was on his property and which he would later rent to the Secret Service for $2,200 a month."

Other documents on the laptop suggest the commingling of finances between Hunter Biden and his father. In 2018, when Hunter Biden had trouble with one of his Wells Fargo bank accounts, he wrote that, "My dad has been using most lines on this account which I've through the gracious offerings of Eric [business partner Eric Schwerin] have paid for the past 11 years."

It was not a financial burden that Hunter Biden bore willingly. On the laptop, Devine found Biden often complained "that he is supporting the whole family and doesn't get the respect he feels he deserves," Devine, whose book, Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide, is coming out in the fall, told me in an email exchange. "There is this 2019 text message to his daughter, Naomi, in which he claims he had to give half his salary to his father: 'I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years...It's really hard. But don't worry, unlike Pop, I won't make you give me half your salary.'"

Now remember this. For years, Joe Biden was known as the poorest man in the U.S. Senate. It was a label he himself welcomed, claiming it showed how ethically clean he was. "I entered as one of the poorest men in Congress, left as one of the poorest men in government, in Congress, and as vice president," Biden said during his presidential campaign in 2019. What Devine has discovered suggests that while Biden bragged about his lack of money -- in other words, claiming to be free of the financial corruption common in politics -- he was relying on his influence-peddling son to pay some of his bills.

Speaking of influence peddling, Devine also reported recently that Hunter Biden "used the perks of the vice presidency -- parties, meetings with Joe Biden and flights on Air Force Two -- to pursue business deals with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim while his father was in office." To illustrate the story, Devine published a 2015 photo of Slim, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and other men with whom Hunter Biden was pursuing business, at the vice president's residence in November 2015.

Of course, the tales of chasing business with Slim and others are on top of what is known about Hunter Biden’s lucrative activities involving Ukraine -- remember Burisma? -- and China while his father was vice president.

On the weird side, the Washington Free Beacon's Chuck Ross recently reported that Hunter Biden "consulted for a Nigerian-American businessman who tried to buy gold from a wanted Congolese warlord known as 'The Terminator,' according to emails from Biden's abandoned laptop." According to Ross, Biden arranged meetings for the businessman with ambassadors from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia -- deals he put together in partnership with Mike Axelrod, who is the son of top Obama advisor David Axelrod. The Nigerian-American businessman was also "appointed to serve on President Obama's international trade advisor board in September 2010," Ross wrote.

Remember a key fact here: Joe Biden has said repeatedly that he never knew about his son's business dealings. If what Devine is reporting is correct, Biden made those claims after having financially benefited from his son's business dealings and after having been a part of some of his son's business events. Again: The Hunter Biden laptop story is not about Hunter Biden. It's about Joe Biden.

And yet, even though the elder Biden is President of the United States, the laptop news blackout continues at all those media and social media sites. Will that ever change? Devine is optimistic. "I think the steady accumulation of evidence should reach a tipping point beyond which no self-respecting journalist can keep ignoring it," she said via email. "But until the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. start taking it seriously, the White House won't address it. The point is that this is not a story about Hunter Biden, private citizen with a former drug problem. It involved the president and his claim he knew nothing about Hunter's business dealings."

For a deeper dive into many of the topics covered in the Daily Memo, please listen to my podcast, The Byron York Show -- available on the Ricochet Audio Network and everywhere else podcasts can be found. You can use this link to subscribe.

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