Hunter Biden’s conviction: Hopefully the 1st of many

By Lt. Col. James Zumwalt

Early in Hunter Biden’s trial as to whether he was guilty of illegally owning a gun in 2018 while addicted to drugs, his supporters were nervous. Few criminal cases contained as much damning evidence as prosecutors presented against Hunter. Most damning was the infamous “laptop from hell,” abandoned at a repair shop.

As an FBI expert testified, the laptop was definitely Hunter’s and had not been hacked, meaning the damning criminal-activity evidence was provided by Hunter himself nonchalantly documenting it. After the nonprofit research group Marco Polo – founded by a former President Donald Trump staffer – conducted a thorough forensic examination of every document on the laptop, it issued a 634-page report – accompanied by 2,020 footnotes – identifying 459 crimes, both state and federal, Hunter may have committed, including prostitution and fraudulent business activities. Hunter next faces federal tax charges in September.

It is difficult to imagine one person committing 459 crimes, but even harder to imagine that person harboring no concerns about documenting them on a personal computer. Doing so undermines father Joe’s assertion Hunter is “the smartest man [he] knows.” Such brazenous suggests, because he was the First Son and recognized his father had the support of a compliant mainstream media (MSM), Hunter truly believed he operated within a bubble where he was untouchable. But, on June 11, that bubble burst when the jury took only three hours to find him guilty on all counts – the first time ever a first family member of a sitting president has been convicted.

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Defense attorneys tried playing the sympathy card for Hunter but, again, his laptop was his worst enemy. His nefarious deeds included getting his sister-in-law, Hallie, involved in drugs; indebtedness, prompting him to transfer $20,000 from his daughter’s college account to pay for “hookers and drugs” despite raking in millions of dollars from foreign sources; dodging financial responsibility for an illegitimate child he fathered; etc. Not helping Hunter was the fact his discarded gun and holster, later recovered, tested positive for cocaine residue.

When the laptop story broke on Oct. 14, 2020 – three weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential election – 51 pro-Joe Biden former senior intelligence officials signed a letter released five days later suggesting it was not Hunter’s. Only later did Hunter admit it was his, ironically in order to sue those who had accessed it and then gone public with the contents. Frustratingly, the “Group of 51” have suffered no consequences for their wrong call – rendered without undertaking any due diligence. They simply chose to completely rely on the form letter sent them. Although circulated by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrel, the letter was not authored by him and no effort was made to identify the author.

Only after the election did Morrell testify the letter was written by then-Biden senior campaign adviser and now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Other signatories included officials beholding to Democrat presidents for their positions such as CIA Director John Brennan, former Obama DNI James Clapper and former CIA director, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Thus, it is clear the Biden campaign “played an active role in the origins of the public statement, which had the effect of helping to suppress the Hunter Biden story and preventing American citizens from making a fully informed decision during the 2020 presidential election.”

By virtue of the signatories’ national security credentials, Americans rightly assumed but wrongly believed they had access to information unavailable to the public. Morrell’s testimony acknowledged two intentions for signing the letter:

“One intent was to share our concern with the American people that the Russians were playing on this issue; and, two, it was to help Vice President Biden.”

Little did voters know, the failure of these intelligence officials to do their due diligence meant the second intent took priority over the first.

Clapper, later asked if he regretted signing the letter, said no, even refusing to have his name removed from it. This is somewhat hypocritical based on the following statement Clapper and the others wrote about the laptop:

“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.” [Emphasis added.]

Asserting Americans needed to be aware of the group’s believed, but ultimately incorrect, assessment concerning Russian disinformation, why then is it not important now to acknowledge the truth?

Shedding light on the group of 51’s dereliction of duty is an op-ed by former senior intelligence official Daniel Hoffman who, asked to sign the letter, refused to do so.

Hoffman acknowledged when the letter was circulated, the Russians were known for disinformation, especially since President Vladimir Putin was a KGB veteran – an agency famous for such initiatives. But that did not exclude Hunter’s possible ownership.

Hoffman shared that then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe publicly stated Hunter’s laptop was “not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.” While the form letter left an out for the signers (“We do not have evidence of Russian involvement – just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case”), good intelligence analysis mandates time to conduct forensics and unravel details. Hoffman noted, Morrell’s email left no room for discussion – “The letter was a fait accompli. It was being passed around for signatures, not edits.” Therefore, Hoffman failed to sign or respond to Morrell’s email.

Hoffman’s response is what we should expect from responsible former senior intelligence officials.

Did the group of 51, running cover for Hunter, impact the 2020 election, which Biden won with 51.3% of the popular vote? Marco Polo determined Joe Biden was “complicit in six alleged white collar crimes including tax evasion, using nonpublic info for financial gain and illegally utilizing his alias email,” violating the Presidential Records Act; copied the First Son on scheduling matters assisting him in his business planning efforts; etc. Truth could have made a difference.

Hunter will be sentenced within four months – facing up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Any decision by Joe to commute Hunter’s sentence would undoubtedly not be made until after the 2024 election.

Hopefully, Hunter’s gun conviction is just the tip of the criminal activity iceberg for him. Throughout his life, his despicable behavior has been facilitated by his father and numerous other individuals both in and out of government seeking to ride Joe’s coattails. While the group of 51 has learned nothing about accountability, at least Hunter, at age 54, has.

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