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CNN finally covers the Hunter Biden story, omits name of key witness, faces backlash for waiting until after the election

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Where was this report in October?

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After going quiet in the months before the election, CNN is now actively reporting the federal investigation into the business dealings of Hunter Biden.

Now that the election is over, the media reporting of Hunter Biden's business deals with foreign governments has entered a new phase as federal prosecutors in Delaware, along with the IRS Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, have issued subpoenas and are seeking interviews in their investigation. Biden's finances are being scrutinized, as federal authorities want to know whether he or his associates violated tax and money-laundering laws in their business deals with China and other foreign countries.

CNN reported that after it contacted Biden's attorney and the Joe Biden campaign for comment about the investigation, Hunter Biden released the following statement:

I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.

But according to CNN, the scope of the investigation goes beyond Biden's taxes, covering business transactions involving individuals the FBI believes may have sparked counterintelligence concerns.

Two sources that spoke to CNN indicated that Hunter Biden has been under investigation since at least 2018.

CNN credited Sinclair Broadcast Group with reporting the existence of the FBI criminal investigation on Oct. 29. CNN did not cover the federal investigation when it was reported, just days before the 2020 U.S. presidential election. CNN also at the time ignored the "smoking gun" New York Post report about emails obtained from a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden showing Biden pursuing "lasting and lucrative" business ties with a Chinese energy company. A former business associate of the Biden family, Tony Bobulinski, publicly corroborated the Post's reporting and implicated former vice president Joe Biden's involvement in his son's business dealings.

To the extent that CNN did cover the story in the weeks leading up to the election, the network sought to discredit the New York Post's reporting and allege that the emails obtained from the laptop were part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Now, CNN reports that the FBI took possession of the laptop in 2019 and that it is "unclear whether the laptop's contents are relevant to the ongoing federal probe and whether investigators can even use them, given potential chain of custody requirements for evidence."

CNN's report makes a reference to "a former Hunter Biden business associate who publicly made claims about potential wrongdoing" but does not mention Tony Bobulinski by name or report the claims he made about the Biden family.

Freelance writer Drew Holden noted on Twitter that a search for "Bobulinski" on CNN's website turns up no results.

Others have criticized CNN's lack of coverage on the Hunter Biden story. Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell responded to CNN anchor Jake Tapper after Tapper shared the story, demanding to know if he was "instructed" not to report the Hunter Biden investigation when the story broke in October.

Journalist Piers Morgan, a self-described liberal and former CNN employee, bashed his former employer in a blistering op-ed criticizing the mainstream media for its "shameful dereliction of journalistic duty driven by the inherent liberal bias," noting that he publicly said so at the time "as a liberal myself."

Predictably, and equally shamefully, the media responded by then trying to censor me too: I was dropped from an appearance on Brian Stelter's CNN media show after going on Fox News and lambasting news organisations like my former CNN employers for refusing to follow up the Post's Biden exposé.

They were happy to buy into Joe Biden's line that it was all a hoax driven by nefarious Russians to discredit him.

Now the same CNN is reporting that the federal investigation is 'examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.'

"If I were appearing on Stelter's show this Sunday, I might ask him if he is still comfortable that CNN refused to pursue the Post's story before the election?" Morgan continued. "And what would they have done if it had been about Donald Trump Jr instead?"

As Morgan pointed out, CNN is not the only mainstream media outlet that initially ignored the Hunter Biden story only to just now decide that a federal criminal investigation into the son of a major presidential candidate is newsworthy. The Daily Beast covered CNN's report, noting that documents providing evidence of a federal investigation were made public in October but went "largely unnoticed." Hot Air's Ed Morrissey was quick to observe that conservative media and right-of-center publications certainly took notice and widely covered the story even as social media companies attempted to suppress the report and the Biden campaign and the rest of the media claimed it was Russian disinformation.

Glenn Greenwald, formerly of the Intercept, published an article Thursday calling out various reporters and big tech for promoting this claim without mentioning the FBI investigation into Biden before the election.

"That's the choice these media outlets made. They got the election outcome they wanted. But they and their reputations and legacy will have to live with this choice," Greenwald wrote.

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