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NBC News tries to defend Hunter Biden over laptop scandal with ancient narrative — but there's a major problem
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NBC News tries to defend Hunter Biden over laptop scandal with ancient narrative — but there's a major problem

NBC News is launching a full-throated defense of Hunter Biden, unearthing an old narrative and claiming its adherents are "vindicated."

After the New York Post dropped the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell a few weeks before the 2020 presidential election, dozens of intelligence professionals tried to connect the laptop to a Russian disinformation campaign. For a while, the narrative proved useful, and Joe Biden even used it during a debate to shut down Donald Trump.

But it wasn't true, which the top U.S. intelligence official confirmed at the time.

Now, more than three years later, NBC News is trying to vindicate Hunter Biden by suggesting the career intelligence officials were not wrong after all.

On Saturday, the outlet published a story titled, "Former U.S. spies warned in 2020 that the Hunter Biden scandal had Russian fingerprints. They feel vindicated now."

The story includes interviews with several of the intel officials, who essentially claim victory.

"It validates exactly what we were warning about," said Marc Polymeropoulos, a CIA veteran who signed the letter. John Sipher, another CIA veteran and letter signatory, boasted, "The recent revelations show that we were prescient."

NBC News' thesis is based upon claims that special counsel David Weiss lodged against Alexander Smirnov, a former FBI confidential human source who is facing charges for allegedly lying to the FBI. In court documents last week, Weiss claimed that Smirnov had "extensive" contact with high-level Russian intelligence officials.

Despite Weiss only making the claim — and not providing hard evidence in court, which would be unusual because information about Russian intelligence is normally highly classified — NBC is claiming the intelligence officials are "vindicated" because of what Smirnov is accused of lying about: He allegedly told the FBI that Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid then-Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million each in 2015 and/or 2016.

The network's framing aside, the report still admitted there is no connection between the laptop and Russian disinformation.

"No public evidence has emerged pointing to a Russian government role in how the laptop materials were made public," NBC News reported.

Even more important: Weiss himself has acknowledged the laptop in court documents and its content as legitimate evidence against Hunter Biden.

In a court filing last month, Weiss explained:

In August 2019, IRS and FBI investigators obtained a search warrant for tax violations for the defendant’s Apple iCloud account. In response to that warrant, in September 2019, Apple produced backups of data from various of the defendant’s electronic devices that he had backed up to his iCloud account. Investigators also later came into possession of the defendant’s Apple MacBook Pro, which he had left at a computer store. A search warrant was also obtained for his laptop and the results of the search were largely duplicative of information investigators had already obtained from Apple.

These facts — the lack of evidence connecting the laptop to Russian intelligence and Weiss' own acknowledge of the laptop — are why the intelligence officials "should feel zero vindication," a spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee said.

"The Hunter Biden laptop was always real and always authenticated. They knew, or should have known, that and they still ran with their verifiably bogus letter. The people who signed the letter should feel zero vindication," spokesman Russell Dye told NBC News.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →