Federal intelligence agencies are investigating whether emails detailing Hunter and Joe Biden’s alleged illicit dealings in Ukraine are part of a foreign intelligence operation targeting the US election, according to reports.
NBC claimed on Thursday night that a federal investigation is underway to establish if the emails found on a laptop in a Delaware repair shop last year, and revealed by the New York Post this week, had been planted to interfere before election day.
They cited two people familiar with the matter and noted that they could not verify the authenticity of the emails published by the NY Post.
The report came as the Washington Post claimed that President Trump had been warned last year that his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was the target of a Russian intelligence operation to feed him misinformation.
They stated that national security adviser Robert O’Brien cautioned Trump that any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine could be contaminated by the Russians.
Giuliani has not hidden his dogged pursuit for incriminating information about the Bidens’ business dealing in Ukraine.
Federal intelligence agencies are investigating whether emails detailing Hunter and Joe Biden’s alleged illicit dealings in Ukraine are part of a foreign intelligence operation
The Washington Post also claims that Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pictured, could also have been used to spread misinformation to President Trump about the Bidens
He also outed himself as the source of the Hunter Biden emails that led to controversial New York Post article this week.
The emails claimed Joe Biden met with Hunter’s Ukrainian business associate while Vice President, weeks before Biden successfully pressured Ukrainian officials to fire the prosecutor who was looking the associate’s firm.
At the time, Hunter was being paid $50,000-a-month by the firm to act as a consultant, despite the fact he’d had no experience working in the gas industry.
Both NBC and Washington Post are not supportive of Trump and some will question the veracity of their claims about the legitimacy of Hunter’s emails, as the New York Post and Fox News continue to release further details on what they allege to have obtained.
The new claims that Giuliani was linked to Russian intelligence, as published by the Washington Post, are linked to a December 2019 trip to Ukraine in which he sought out intel on the Bidens.
While there, he was seen interacting with people tied to Russian Intelligence, with anonymous sources telling the Post that it led to fears that Trump’s lawyer would bring misinformation straight to the president.
President Trump, pictured, is said to have been warned his lawyer Giuliani’s information from the Ukraine may have been pushed by Russian intelligence late last year
In a private conversation with Trump, O’Brien cautioned about information Giuliani may bring him.
It came as Trump was facing impeachment over his own alleged attempts to strong-arm Ukraine into handing over information on Biden’s corruption and officials were said to be concerned he would say ‘something stupid’.
Trump allegedly told O’Brien ‘that’s Rudy’ and shrugged his shoulders.
The Post adds that the warnings about Giuliani in December raised concerns that Russia could again be attempting to interfere in the election with a misinformation campaign similar to the one they ran in 2016.
However, it was thought that that president would not react well to any claims that Russia were, or are, interfering in US elections, angered that it undermines him and his presidency.
National security adviser Robert O’Brien cautioned Trump about information coming from Rudy Giuliani
He has previously called the documented campaign of election interference by Russia a ‘hoax’.
The concerns about Russian interference and Giuliani’s potential role heightened when it emerged that he had played a role in the release of Hunter’s emails, they added.
As Giuliani interacted with a figure in Russian intelligence who was being monitored by the US during his December 2019 meeting, some of his communications were captured, the Post states.
It shows that he was looking details for on Burisma and Hunter Biden’s involvement there, information very similar to what has this week come out in the alleged emails.
One official said that Giuliani was so eager for information that it was thought difficult to be able to convince him that he could be used to spread misinformation.
The man Giuliani met with in December was named Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian lawmaker in Ukraine.
Giuliani was not shy about his attempts to find information on the Bidens from him and even took a documentary film crew from the right-wing One America News to the meet.
The attorney said at the time that Trump had directed him to hand over any information he found to the Justice Department and Senate Republicans.
He later hosted Derkach on his podcast in New York and promoted the lawmaker’s Biden claims.
The former NYC mayor claimed to the Post that he never knew Derkach was a Russian asset.
Yet in September, Derkach was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for allegedly running an ‘influence campaign’ against Joe Biden.
And in August, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence publicly stated that Derkach was part of a campaign to smear Biden ahead of the 2020 election.
This is not the first time that Giuliani has been linked to Russian intelligence when on the hunt for incriminating information on the Bidens.
Earlier in 2019, the Post states that written warnings were sent to the White House by US intelligence officials to say that he had been dealing with Russian assets.
They added that Attorney General William P. Barr, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and White Counsel Pat Cipollone were all aware that Giuliani had been targeted by the Russians.
Giuliani has been a long time ally of Trump’s but according to the Post, has become even closer in recent months as the president has dropped in the polls and grappled with the fallout of the pandemic.
Trump also relied heavily on Giuliani during his impeachment trial, as the president pushed claims about corruption on Biden’s part in Ukraine.
The centerpiece of the impeachment trial had been a phone call in which Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he should meet with Giuliani.
‘Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you,’ Trump told Zelensky in a phone call on July 25, 2019, according to a partial transcript released by the White House.
“’I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.’
The new accusations about Giuliani having been unwittingly linked with Russian intelligence comes after Hunter Biden’s attorney slammed his claims that he had found the emails and passed them to the New York Post.
‘We have no idea where this came from, and certainly cannot credit anything that Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post, but what I do know for certain is that this purported meeting never happened,’ George Mesires told NBC.
‘The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story,’ Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates added.
‘They certainly never raised that Rudy Giuliani — whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported — claimed to have such materials.
‘We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place,’ he continued.
The emails in question were on a laptop seized by the FBI through a subpoena, which was also later published by the NY Post.
The laptop was allegedly not picked up for the repair store and in April 2019, shop owner Mac Isaac took it on himself to open the files.
Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi (pictured) thanked Hunter Biden for ‘an opportunity to meet your father’ in an email sent in 2015. Giuliani said he gave the email to the NY Post
He has said that he called the FBI to inform them of what he had found, as well as a Giuliani associate.
He also claimed that he believed the laptop had belonged to equipment left by Hunter as there was a sticker on it paying tribute to his late brother Beau.
However, according to the Daily Beast, Isaac at another point claimed that the FBI had reached out to him first.
The laptop had bee among a number of devices that were listed in a grand jury subpoena in December 2019, according to NBC.
‘Other material extracted from the computer,’ the Post said, ‘includes a raunchy, 12-minute video that appears to show Hunter, who’s admitted struggling with addiction problems, smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman, as well as numerous other sexually explicit images.’
NBC stated that some question why Hunter would leave the explicit files on an abandoned laptop while others claim they were hacked from his other accounts and placed on the laptop as a cover story.