- The Daily Mail claims to have verified Hunter Biden’s laptop, and published explicit images from it.
- The computer left in a Delaware repair shop, and was the subject of intense controversy last year.
- The outlet argued that it shows a side of Biden he wasn’t transparent about in his new book.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Daily Mail claims that forensics experts have verified the authenticity of messages and images in a laptop containing lurid details of Hunter Biden’s private life.
DailyMail.com, the US-focused website run by the British tabloid, published a long article detailing the laptop’s contents on Thursday.
The laptop was the subject of intense controversy in the runup to the November presidential election, when The New York Post claimed that the laptop contained emails harmful to Joe Biden.
The Post claimed Biden – then the Democratic nominee for president – was compromised by his son’s business dealings in Ukraine, where he worked on the board of energy firm Burisma.
Other emails, said critics, contained evidence of influence-peddling by Hunter Biden in China. Neither claim was ever substantiated.
The story of how the Post and later the Mail obtained the machine is convoluted, with it having initially reportedly been abandoned in a Delaware computer shop then handed to allies of Donald Trump.
Amid doubts over the authenticity of the information, and briefings from US intelligence agencies that it was likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign, Facebook and Twitter introduced measures to stop it being shared.
But according to the Mail, the laptop is indeed Hunter Biden’s, and contains 103,000 text messages, 154,000 emails, and more than 2,000 photos.
The Mail said the contents were verified by cyber forensics experts at Maryman & Associates, a California-based company which says on its website has 20 years of experience.
The company claims to have matched contents of the laptop with email addresses, contents from an iPad, and an iPhone serial number connected to Biden.
Insider attempted to reach Hunter Biden for comment with emails to his attorney and book publishers, but did not immediately receive a response.
The publication of new material from the laptop comes days after the publication of Hunter Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” where he describes his struggles with drug addiction.
The Mail claims the material from the laptop shows that Hunter Biden “chose not to divulge” parts of his life in the book.
It published pictures of Hunter Biden which it said showed him with prostitutes, and showed evidence of drug use.
There is no politically substantive new information in the report. It claims to contain text messages between Biden and his father, most of which show the elder Biden offering Hunter support.
The Mail claims material from the computer show that Hunter Biden was able to evade prosecution for drugs and prostitution offences.
-Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 9, 2021
It contains details of messages from Hunter Biden about an incident in which the Secret Service got involved after he abandoned a firearm in a bin after an argument with Hallie Biden, the wife of his deceased brother Beau Biden, with whom he was having a relationship. The Secret Service denied any involvement in the incident.
The images were seized upon by Fox News hosts on Thursday night, who renewed their attacks on Hunter Biden and showed explicit stills from videos reportedly found on the laptop.
-Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 9, 2021
Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by federal authorities regarding possible tax crimes relating to his work in Ukraine and China.
In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Thursday to promote his book, Hunter Biden addressed some of the controversies, including the laptop. He has previously claimed that he doesn’t know if the device was his.
He said: “Now look, I really don’t know and the fact of the matter is, it’s a red herring. It is absolutely a red herring. But I am absolutely, I think, within my rights to question anything that comes from the desk of Rudy Giuliani. And so I don’t know is the answer.”
Giuliani has said that he played a part in getting the laptop to members of the media.
Last year Trump allies seized on an email in the laptop which appeared to show Hunter trying to broker a meeting between an associate at Burisma and Joe Biden while he was Barack Obama’s Vice President. No evidence has emerged to indicate the meeting ever took place.
In a statement to Politico last year a Biden spokesman said Joe Biden may have had an “informal interaction” with the Burisma associate of his son’s but any interaction would’ve been “cursory.”
After being abandoned in the computer repair shop, the laptop hard drive is said to have been obtained by Rudy Giuliani, then working as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
Giuliani led a longstanding campaign to link Joe Biden to his son’s dealings in Ukraine. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was also said to be involved in handling the hard drive. It was then handed to the Post.