Two things about the Biden Crime Family case puzzle me a bit. One of them I think I can explain, the other I'm not sure.
The first is simply this: Why would the FBI apparently not take action to "protect persons" (as Rudy Giuliani has said), based on what we're hearing from multiple credible sources regarding the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop? As we all know, Giuliani is referring to what appear to be graphic sexual images of underage females on the laptop. I initially wondered--based on the earliest rumors/reports--whether the FBI had been able to identify the persons who might need protection, or whether the FBI had jurisdiction over those persons. It now seems clear that at least one of those persons has been identified and may actually be related to the Biden family.
Obviously, if the FBI was conducting a sensitive investigation of the Biden Crime Family (BCF) they would prefer to avoid any action that would alert the BCF to their investigative interest. Taking steps to protect a minor who was at sexual risk from Hunter Biden might well be that alerting action. However, absent a compelling justification for not acting, Giuliani is correct: the FBI would have had a duty to act to protect persons at risk, if those persons--as seems to be the case in at least one case--can be identified and located within the FBI's jurisdiction (I'll skip over what might be done regarding foreign nationals, since there isn't a simple answer).
The possible explanations seem to be twofold. The first explanation would be that the FBI may have determined that the person at risk had been removed from risk by the time the FBI came to know of the situation. In other words, the FBI may have been able to determine that some adult had intervened to prevent access by Hunter Biden to the minor who was at risk. There are signs from the text that Giuliani displayed yesterday to suggest that this may, in fact, be the case.
The other possible explanation would have to do with the date of the incidents. The text that Giuliani displayed was redacted--including the date. The incidents of concern may have occurred long enough ago that the minor in question is no longer a minor--and may not have been a minor any longer at the time the FBI gained possession of the laptop. That might also explain why the Delaware State Police passed on the material Giuliani offered them yesterday.
Those seem the most plausible explanations. As we'll see, below, there would likely have been too many FBI and DoJ officials involved, with far too much to lose, for any corners to have been cut in this regard.
As I said up top, I'm not sure I can explain the other puzzle. It may appear to be a minor matter, but it does point toward the whole issue of the degree of investigative interest the FBI and DoJ had in the issues arising from the material on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Recall that the FBI took possession of Hunter Biden's laptop via a grand jury subpoena. As I've already explained, there's nothing at all surprising about that, since it avoids possible legal challenges based on the issue of whether the repair shop owner, Isaac, really did have legal possession of the laptop. However, there is legal significance to this method of taking possession of the laptop.
The use of a grand jury subpoena means that whatever Isaac told the FBI led the FBI to believe that there was evidence of a federal crime on the laptop. Having come to that conclusion, the FBI agents would have had to present that view to a local Ass't US Attorney (AUSA). If the AUSA agreed, a full investigation would be opened and a grand jury number assigned--and the subpoena could then be issued. That means that a determination regarding "predication" was made--the full investigation would have been authorized based on the determination that there were specific, articulable facts indicating that a crime had occurred--or might occur.
Here I'm guessing, but my guess is that the investigation that was opened would have--at least initially--been predicated on Isaac's statements about the graphic sexual material on the laptop. Any normal person can be assumed to be able to accurately estimate whether a female is still a minor. By contrast, any information that Isaac provided regarding the documents on the laptop would require more legal interpretation than Isaac could provide. What I mean is this. Suppose Isaac told the FBI that there were emails with foreign persons, possibly business discussions with people in Ukraine, China, or elsewhere. That's not evidence of a crime, per se--to be evidence of a crime would require legal analysis of what was involved, and Isaac would not be considered a reliable source for such conclusions. There would be time enough to make that determination once legal possession of the laptop had been obtained based on a simpler and less contestable factual basis--child pornography.
We've learned that several days elapsed between the first visit of the FBI agents to Isaac's shop and their return with a subpoena for the laptop. Given the political sensitivity of the Biden family and the likelihood that Joe Biden would once again be entering the political arena, I take it for granted that both the local FBI agents as well as the local USA office handling Delaware would consult with their respective headquarters. I also assume that any such consultation would have gone up the entire chain of command--at the FBI to Director Wray and at DoJ to AG Barr. I can't believe that anyone at lower levels would take it upon themselves to short circuit this process. That would easily explain the delay of several days.
All that--or something pretty much like that--seems clear enough. Here's what puzzles me.
We're told that, after the laptop was delivered into the possession of the FBI, quite a few months elapsed. As a result, Isaac--growing worried--got in touch with Rudy Giuliani and provided him with a copy of the hard drive.
If I were running this investigation--and I believe, from all the circumstances, that we have to assume that there is an ongoing investigation at this point--I would have established ongoing contact with Isaac. Not to confide in him about the details of the investigation but, rather, to reassure him that his interests in confidentiality were being taken into consideration on an ongoing basis as well as to ensure that he didn't do anything that would cause the investigation to become public knowledge. Something like handing a copy of the hard drive over to President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. This seems basic to me and, with so many people involved up and down the chain of command at both the FBI and DoJ, the seeming failure of anyone to ensure that such a basic step was taken ... puzzles me.
One way to look at this would be to shrug and say: All's well that ends well. The public has a right to know stuff like this about presidential candidates, and now the public knows. It still puzzles me.