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.
Great points, as usual. What puzzles me is why Giulani is taking so much time to produce the materials. I know he wants to drip, drip, drip the info so there's something new each day leading up to the election. The problem is that record numbers of voters are voting early. There's an hour & half wait to vote in my small county. Why not release all information now so that voters are fully informed when they vote? If as Rudy claims there's so much material on the hard drive, it will take the media many days to pour through it all. I seriously doubt the story will flame out if he releases everything now.ReplyDelete
The simple fact is that the media will never "pour through it all". It'll lay in a desk drawer for a week, the NYT will run a story on page 25 that there is nothing of interest, every other outlet will take their que and viola, the memory hole awaits.Delete
Hypothesis: FBI/DOJ may have feared ongoing contact with the computer shop owner would increase the chance that existence of the investigation could leak back to the Biden Crime Family (BCF™) -- especially given that the shop is located near where Hunter lived. IOW, ongoing contact implies ongoing investigation is active.ReplyDelete
The only way to shut off that risk is to subpoena the drive, have the guy testify to the GJ, and then have no further contact with him, except as absolutely necessary.
Interesting that the trigger for the shop owner to seek out Giuliani and the Senate Committee was the Senate Report, issued 20 September, as I recall.
A related question: why didn't FBI brief Congress about such a investigation?
My hypothesis on that score is that some of the people in Congress (Schiff-for-Brains, as one example) are recipients of illicit Ukraine (and or Chinese, etc.) cash, and thus FBI cannot risk disclosure of the investigation for fear of tipping off targets of the investigation.
There is a huge landmine buried in this story that transcends Biden, child endangerment, and corruption issues. It is the possibility that DOJ/FBI actually did attempt to cover up the wrongdoing revealed on the laptop. If that circumstance did, in fact, occur and becomes public knowledge, there is likely no way the FBI survives that revelation without major consequences. IOW, this situation has the potential to bring down the FBI as we know it.ReplyDelete
That may sound farfetched, but there is substantial evidence that a similar scenario occurred in September 2016 with the Weiner laptop, which to date has not been fully explained (why did FBIHQ delay 3+ weeks in reviewing the laptop?).
One possible explanation:ReplyDelete
AssUMed - Ass out of U and Me.
Once the locals passed it up the chain they assumed it would all be handled at a higher level, whereas the upper levels assumed the locals would take care of the housekeeping. They were all so focused on what a big deal it was that the mundane ceased to be on anyone's radar. It's like the first thing that is taught in first aid class, no matter how obvious it may seem point to someone and tell them specifically to call 911, otherwise it probably won't happen.
Theory: FBI held on to the laptop so they could counter the blackmail attempts from China, Ukraine, Pelosi, Obama...ReplyDelete
Joe caught in the middle https://webmshare.com/JxqyO
Bits and pieces from these sources
The Back Story Of Hunter's Computer Being Found.
...When the President was impeached early this year and nothing was said about the obvious exculpatory emails, the family became suspicious and tried to contact the FBI, but their approaches were rebuffed
...Nevertheless, Obama wants something very important that will solidify legacy that only a Biden Administration can deliver to the former-President on a silver platter, and the clock is ticking.
And Biden has already tipped his hat as to what that ‘special favor’ might be.
CNN observed in December 2019:
During an event in Washington, Iowa, over the weekend, Biden was asked if he would nominate Obama, his former boss, to the Supreme Court.
“If he’d take it, yes,” Biden replied.
How The New York Times sketched Team Biden’s evidence-free 'Russian disinformation' tale
Obama on the SC? OMG. Aren't justices required to know at least a tiny little something about the Constitution and the law? I'd rather see Barbra Streisand on the court than that jug-eared fraud.Delete
@ Titan 28Delete
Obama would never take it. His supposed superior intellect is a major part of his hustle. The last thing he wants is to be put in a position that his mediocrity is on display FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.
I think Lucy has some splaining to do.ReplyDelete
I said a few days ago unless this did actually involve kiddie porn or something of the likes it would be political fodder.
Occam's Razor is really useful here- they took the laptop by subpoena to bury it. I think it likely they asked Isaac if he had made copies or given them to anyone else, and that he told them that he hadn't. Think about it- if you had made a copy of this and didn't fully trust the agents, would you tell them you had? I wouldn't.ReplyDelete
In short, the agents believed they had secured the only copy. Mission accomplished.
I disagree. If they simply wanted to "bury" it, they wouldn't have created a paper trail by using getting a subpoena--which involves documentation for all the administrative steps I describe above.Delete
I understand your point, Mark, but I think you're overestimating the concern about appearances.Delete
What are the odds that anyone will face consequences for using the subpoena with the intent to suppress evidence? They know that at worst they can blame incompetence or bureaucratic bumbling if it ever comes to light that they had the laptop and did nothing with it.
But what about the children! When you subscribe to a philosophy in which the ends justify the means, pretty much any action, no matter how irresponsible or evil, can be justified.
Remember: At the time that they took possession of the laptop, Trump was being impeached. Everyone knew he wouldn't be removed, but I suspect they thought the process would damage him for re-election. The laptop and its contents pale in significance to Orange Man Bad.
Recall also: a whistle blower who had information damaging to Hilary Clinton had his house raided by the FBI. Was that so that the FBI could investigate the documents properly? Of course not.
Other than Orange Man Bad, I really don't understand how or why the FBI feels an obligation to protect corrupt Democrats, but that seems to be where that institution is these days. I'm sure it's not everyone, but it's enough people in enough positions of consequence. And the hallowed 'rank and file' are doing the country no favors with their silence.
Belay my last - I was playing catch up and had not seen the discussion about a 272 investigation.Delete
I'm still by no means confident that the FBI would ever willingly imperil Joe Biden's son, but that's a different argument.
What if we got it backwards? What if the FBI held off on the laptop so the Trump campaign could spring it on Biden right before the election? We always assume the FBI is on the Dems side, but maybe there are elements that are not. And Giuliani must still have a lot of connections there from his DOJ days.ReplyDelete
Something of that sort would explain a few things.Delete
Unlikely. If the FBI wanted to help Trump it would have publicized the info during the primary to ensure that Crazy Bernie would be the D party's nominee.Delete
It's a point, but why take a chance on a new, possibly more formidable -- after all, there's no way of knowing who the nominee would have been -- nominee emerging, when you already have the material you need to destroy Biden?Delete
This got me thinking so I did some chasing of family relationships looking for the possibility of who the niece is or could possibly be.ReplyDelete
On both sides of all marriages (brother, sister including in-laws, etc) there is only one, Natalie Biden who is currently 16 years of age.
I'm looking at the delay in this and pondering some of the same things about the victim, current age, status, etc and all I can come up with is his brothers daughter.
This doesn't look good for the Biden's or the DOJ.
Hunter sent his father Joe a text in which he was bemoaning the fact that Hallie (Beau’s widow with whom Hunter had had a two year “romantic relationship”) no longer wanted (redacted) to visit his home because of his nudity with them on facetime:Delete
She told my therapist I was sexually inappropriate with [name redacted when she says that I face time naked with her and the reason I can’t have her out to see me is because I walk around naked smoking crack talking [redacted] girls on face time. When she was present she said that [redacted] never said anything like that but the bottom line is that she I create and caused a very unsafe environment for the kids. If it stopped there I would let it go but then [redacted] friend [redacted] sober coach.
The most logical teenager in the family is Hallie's (and Beau’s) daughter Natalie who is now about 16.
Hallie found out that Hunter was a creep. Kathleen, his first wife, could have told her...
You're very charitable.Delete
You lost me with Natalie Biden. I don’t get the connection between her and the “victim.” Please explain this to a simpleton. Thank you.Delete
She is the naked teen aka niece.Delete
Just noticed something that, if true, shoots down my notion that the original predication was for the child porn. At this tweet:ReplyDelete
"swc- just noted the FBI’s receipt to the Mac Shop owner identifies the investigation as Money Laundering (272D). Seems to make sense, but wondering if you have any observations re the predication."
It certainly makes plenty of sense, but that indicates that Isaac or his father did some fairly in depth study of the material on the laptop.
Just saw the same thing.Delete
Recall my comment about emails that were evidence of "money laundering" a few days back?
Right, but it certainly indicates that Isaac did a pretty deep dive into the hard drive. After all, that was a helluva lotta data.Delete
Who knows; maybe he's very much like so many of us here on the intertubz; -- folks who have taken a deep interest in these sorts of issues, and he followed his nose, and realized the significance of the evidence he saw.Delete
Or, who knows, maybe Isaac reads this blog!Delete
The thing is, Hunter was involved in some relatively sophisticated frauds. It wasn't all as straightforward as this caper. If it's taking sophisticated prosecutors like Giuliani and Costello months to get through this stuff, how did a pair of novices--one of them legally blind--do that?Delete
Possibly the money laundering investigation was already in progress and the LT/HD acquisition was providential.Delete
His uncle & a close friend of the uncle, both ex-Intel officers (& a judge advocate) did the reviewing.Delete
Hypothesis: Hunter was a bagman! He wasn't the brains behind any of this stuff. Perhaps yet-to-be-indicted co-conspirators designed the sophisticated schemes, and Hunter just carried out instructions he was given -- e.g., "pick up the bag of money and deliver to ..."Delete
Re: my 7:49 above.Delete
I reviewed the timeline and realize I had missed the statement by Isaac that the FBI had made a forensic copy of the LT/HD on their first visit in Nov. They obviously had enough time to review enough to decide to open an investigation by the time agents returned in Dec.
I also find it interesting that when the agents took the LT/HD they told Isaac that if Hunter came looking for it to stall him with a story about it being in storage and they would get the devices back to him so he could return them to Hunter.
@ Tom S.Delete
Right. So the agents were quite aware that Isaac was a critical witness/cooperator in the investigation. That's why I'm puzzled that, if the story we're told is true, they didn't touch bases with him from time to time. One also wonders whether the fact that the subpoena was issued as part of a 272D money laundering investigation may indicate that Hunter Biden may have already figured in some investigation before Isaac contacted the FBI.
Hunter was tied up with so many unsavory characters, all around the globe, that it is just a crap shoot guessing even which continent, much less what dirty deal, caught the FBI's attention (truly a Globalist in that regard). The most obvious would be the Russian deal, 200 million is a pretty big chunk of change to try to hide, but, again, that's just a stab in the dark.Delete
"swc- just noted the FBI’s receipt to the Mac Shop owner identifies the investigation as Money Laundering (272D)."Delete
My guess would be a previously opened investigation prior to the laptop surfacing.
I think you are correct in saying previously that the FBI would not accept a computer techs say-so on financial crimes.
Guessing this ties back to Archer / Cooney.
I think the "preexisting money laundering investigation" is the best explanation I've heard so far. And it wouldn't surprise me if it was much wider than just Hunter Biden's activities.Delete
Don't forget, Rudy got a trove of evidence from people in Ukraine who were trying to find someone in the US to look at the corrupt stuff going on in Ukraine that involved US players.
Rudy gave it to Barr; Barr shoveled it over to Brady, US Attorney for WDPA.
Hunter's laptop info may have been added to an already ONGOING money laundering investigation -- one that was/is targeting far more people than just Hunter.
Just did a new post, basically going with that. Tom S. is right--this could conceivably lead in many directions.Delete
Just what Barr needs, more "sprawling".