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The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against the State Department to obtain a series of emails between the Embassy of Romania and Hunter Biden between the years 2015 and 2019, according to a report by Politico. NYT is also looking for the emails between the embassy and a business associate of Hunter, in order to see if there was any potential conflict of interest between the dealings of the young Biden and foreign nations.
The revelation comes after The New York Times filed several Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIA) to the State Department asking for those emails. However, the government has been extremely slow at fulfilling those requests. The State Department has said that it will only release the required documents by 2023.
According to the reports, The New York Times is asking for these documents in order to investigate “the possible improper use of federal government resources to assist and advance private business interests with connections to United States government officials and (2) the possible evasion of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by those private business interests, and (3) the non-enforcement of FARA by the federal government in relation to those private business interests.”
One of the targets of these FOIA requests by The New York Times is Tony Bobulinski, a former Hunter Biden business associate who has been embroiled in the ever-growing saga of the President’s son’s business ties with foreign companies.
Hunter Biden, from “misinformation campaign” to legitimate reporting
Hunter Biden’s dealings with foreign countries have been at the center of U.S. politics for a few years. The President’s son held a position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, from 2014 to 2019 despite having little to no experience in the energy sector. This has awakened the suspicions of many, including the U.S. Senate, which issued a report over potential corruption between Ukrainian companies and the U.S. in 2020.
The Biden-Ukrainian links were also crucial parts of the 2020 impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump. At the time, Democrats argued that Trump had unduly used his influence as President to dig up dirt against Biden’s son.
Hunter Biden returned to the national headlines just a few weeks before the 2020 election, when the New York Post published a story revealing emails from Hunter’s laptop that would supposedly confirm a conflict of interest and traffic of influence between Hunter, the then-Vice President, and foreign companies.
The New York Post article was quickly censored by Twitter and Facebook before either company tried to verify or disprove the contents of the story. The social media giants claimed they were trying to limit the spread of potential misinformation. Mainstream media outlets also discredited the story. Politico posted an article saying that intelligence officials thought the story was Russian misinformation, and NPR said it decided not to cover the story because “we don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories.”
However, despite these efforts to discredit the report, the passing of time has given more credence to the Hunter Biden laptop story. A book by a Politico reporter confirmed that the contents of Hunter’s laptop were real, and there has not been any official investigation proving that the New York Post story was part of a Kremlin-led misinformation campaign. Even Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former CEO, admitted that censuring the laptop story before verifying it was a “total mistake.”
Whether the New York Times manages to get the emails between Hunter and the Romanian embassy remains to be seen. However, what is clear is that the business ties between the President’s son and foreign companies are no longer being dismissed as non-sensical disinformation orchestrated by the Kremlin. In other words, the Hunter story has gone from misinformation to mainstream.
Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.