WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say Wednesday if anyone close to President Biden during the 2020 campaign told Twitter that Hunter Biden’s laptop was “hacked” in order to justify suppression of The Post’s bombshell reports.
Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Jean-Pierre at her regular briefing whether the Biden family or campaign asserted the first son’s computer was breached — noting journalist Matt Taibbi reported that internal Twitter documents shared by new owner Elon Musk didn’t include a specific official assertion the material was revealed by a hack.
“Did anyone from the Biden team communicate to Twitter that … this reporting stemmed from hacked materials?” Heinrich asked Jean-Pierre, who worked on the Biden campaign before joining the administration.
“Are you talking about the campaign?” Jean-Pierre replied.
“It would have been the campaign or anyone around the family,” Heinrich said.
“Just wondering because in the Twitter Files release and what Matt Taibbi said — he noted that typically the company would require a law enforcement or official finding that something was hacked in order to exercise their hacked materials clause and he didn’t see that in what was given to him,” Heinrich added.
“I’m wondering if it was communicated, even informally, by someone around the president or the president’s family or the campaign that this was hacked material,” she went on.
Jean-Pierre claimed in response that the Hatch Act, which forbids certain officials from using their offices to promote political candidates, prevented her from addressing whether the campaign made such an assertion. She didn’t respond about possible claims of hacking by the Biden family.
“I can’t speak to decisions made by the campaign from here. It is a political campaign… I am covered by the Hatch Act and so I’m just not going to comment on the question that you are asking me,” Jean-Pierre answered.
“What I can say more broadly that is of course it’s up to these companies to make their own decisions about the content on their platforms and to ensure content follows their own standards and policies,” the spokeswoman said.
Hunter Biden and the Biden campaign never publicly denied the authenticity of laptop documents first reported by The Post in October 2020, but insinuated that they may have been the work of Russian “disinformation.” Joe Biden himself said the reporting was “a Russian plot” at an Oct. 22 presidential debate.
Twitter banned distribution of the articles and locked The Post out of its main account, despite having no evidence the material was hacked. The Post’s articles transparently described how the material was conveyed from a Delaware computer repairman who said Hunter Biden dropped off the laptop and then never picked it up, thereby legally abandoning it.
Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October to restore free speech principles, on Tuesday fired Twitter deputy general counsel James Baker, the former FBI general counsel, for his “possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue”
The Post’s initial bombshell from the laptop included evidence that Hunter Biden in 2015 introduced his father — then the sitting vice president and in charge of US policy on Ukraine — to an executive from the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, which paid the then-second son up to $1 million per year to serve on its board.
At the time, the Biden campaign said in a carefully worded statement that there were no such meetings on his “official schedules,” creating the perception they were denying the report. Subsequent reporting indicated that Joe Biden attended a DC dinner that featured the Burisma executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, and Hunter’s business associates from Kazakhstan.
After his father took office, Hunter said in an interview that the laptop “certainly” could have been his.
Documents discovered on the laptop after the 2020 election indicated that Hunter also invited Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina to the same 2015 dinner, along with her husband, former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Baturina is one of a dwindling number of Russian oligarchs yet to face US sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She paid $3.5 million in 2014 to a Hunter Biden-linked firm, according to a 2020 report from GOP-led Senate committees.
The Post also reported before the 2020 election on documents from the laptop that suggested Joe Biden was due a 10% cut from a business deal involving a Chinese state-linked energy company that reportedly paid his Hunter and Joe’s brother James Biden $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018.
Biden has denied making any money from his son’s overseas business deals and the White House says he stands by his 2019 claim that he has never even discussed the enterprises with his son — despite evidence that he has interacted with his family’s associates from China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine.