18:56 GMT01 December 2020
Listen Live
    US
    Get short URL
    by
    4312
    Subscribe

    The report by the New York Post alleging corrupt dealings of the Biden family caused a stir among the US public nearly two weeks before the November poll. The claims are based on emails said to be found in an abandoned laptop of the businessman son of the former vice-president – a device which apparently has many more things to reveal.

    GTV Media Group, which was co-founded by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, is unveiling new content allegedly copied from Hunter Biden’s hard drive after its pledge to make hourly publications for 13 consecutive days from 23 October onwards. The initial batch of content included clips and naked images of someone who bears a striking resemblance to the Democrat hopeful’s younger son.

    Where Did These Images Come From?

    The content allegedly came from a laptop which was abandoned at a Delaware repair shop back in April 2019, the New York Post reported on 14 October. According to the news outlet, the shop owner did not initially identify his client, who dropped the computer with the Beau Biden Foundation sticker on it, as Hunter Biden. However, he apparently notified the FBI of its existence, since the device had never been picked up or paid for.

    The laptop was then reportedly seized by the feds. However, before that, the owner managed to make a copy of the hard drive and sent it to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who then shared the retrieved content with the Post.

    Rudy Giuliani walks to his motorcade vehicle
    © AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
    Rudy Giuliani walks to his motorcade vehicle

    How Did the Bidens React to the Footage?

    The former vice-president earlier branded the laptop-related “crack and sex” scandal “another smear campaign”, which his wife later said was authored by “Donald Trump henchmen”.

    According to Jill Biden, the American people “don’t want to hear these smears” against her son and husband who is aiming for the White House seat.

    Hunter Biden himself has not commented on the publication of the images, which are said to incriminate him directly, something which has been prompting questions from the public.

    Donald Trump, who vocally accused his Democrat rival and son of criminal conduct in relation to Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine, has not yet given any strongly worded assessment of the sex tapes.

    This Jan. 30, 2010 file photo shows Hunter Biden, right, son of Vice President Joe Biden, center, talking with President Barack Obama, and the vice president Joe Biden during a college basketball game in Washington.  Biden's youngest son Hunter is joining the Navy. The Navy says the attorney and former Washington lobbyist was selected to be commissioned into the Navy Reserve as a public affairs officer. Because he is 42, he needed a special waiver to be accepted, but that is not uncommon. He is one of seven candidates recommended for a direct commission for public affairs.
    © AP Photo / Nick Wass
    This Jan. 30, 2010 file photo shows Hunter Biden, right, son of Vice President Joe Biden, center, talking with President Barack Obama, and the vice president Joe Biden during a college basketball game in Washington. Biden's youngest son Hunter is joining the Navy. The Navy says the attorney and former Washington lobbyist was selected to be commissioned into the Navy Reserve as a public affairs officer. Because he is 42, he needed a special waiver to be accepted, but that is not uncommon. He is one of seven candidates recommended for a direct commission for public affairs.

    How Did the Media React to the Release?

    The leak was largely ignored by the majority of American media. Although it spread fast across Twitter and Reddit, both platforms heavily moderated those trying to share the content. Reddit moderators cited the platform’s rules on “involuntary pornography” as discussion feeds on the subject were said to be taken down. Twitter posts with relevant links were also apparently banned over violations of the platform’s "Community Standards”.

    According to Pro-Republican news site the Gateway Pundit, its Twitter account was suspended for 12 hours as a news report on a purported leak featured a close-up of the face of the man in the first leaked video.  

    Who are GTV?

    GTV Media Group was founded in April by ex-Trump staffer Steve Bannon and Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that the organisation was being probed in relation to $300 million private investments raised this spring. It was suggested that investigators were assessing whether the GTV Media violated securities laws after complaints from investors that they had not received a relevant documentation proving their investments in the firm.

    Bannon was also under the spotlight this summer, after being arrested in relation to money laundering charges over the “We Build the Wall” fundraising initiative, allegations he denied.

    The GTV’s co-founder Wengui is a Chinese billionaire and reported owner of Beijing Zenith Holdings who fled China back in 2014 or 2015 after being accused of bribing, money frauds and sexual assault. Wengui dismissed the allegations as politically motivated and is now believed to have settled in New York. He has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese political system and alleged corruption among its high ranks.

    What Else Was Inside the ‘Laptop From Hell’?

    According to the initial report by the New York Post, the device, later dubbed by President Trump as the “laptop from hell”, contains not only graphic sex images but also detailed information on Hunter’s disputed dealings with the Ukrainian Burisma company back in 2015. Other alleged emails also suggested questionable dealings with Chinese businessmen.

    Following publication of the letters - the authenticity of which so far could not be independently confirmed - Donald Trump has called upon US Attorney-General William Barr to “act fast” and investigate the matter before Election Day.

    Vice-President Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden walk in the Inaugural Parade January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the US
    © AFP 2020 / David McNew
    Vice-President Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden walk in the Inaugural Parade January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the US

    In the meantime Twitter and Facebook moved to block users for sharing the links to the New York Post’s article about the laptop’s explosive content, based on its “hacked materials” policy, according to Twitter’s spokesman.

    Twitter had even temporarily locked the account of White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany and the New York Post for sharing “hacked” material. Though the ban was later lifted and McEnany’s account unlocked after the report has received a large news coverage, the Post’s account has remained shut down.

     

    Tags:
    sex tape, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion