October 17, 2020

BACK TO RACISM (profanity alert):

Smearing Hunter Biden Failed. Now What?: The Trump campaign's long-planned October Surprise was a dud, and they look out of ideas (Nicholas Grossman, Oct 17, 2020, Arc Digital)

The story smelled from the start and unraveled quickly. It began with a false premise, presenting then-Vice President Biden's effort to oust a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor as personal, when he actually acted on behalf of the Obama administration with support from Congressional Republicans and the European Union. The article's source was Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was not-coincidentally part of the scheme to extort the president of Ukraine into manufacturing an investigation of the Bidens, which got Trump impeached. The Post also gave Trump's 2016 campaign chair Steve Bannon, who was recently indicted for fraud, a hat tip for alerting them to the emails' existence.

Rudy's story of how he got these emails is laughable, and he's already changed it once. The Wall Street Journal's Kevin Poulson pointed out that, according to metadata, the PDF files Rudy gave The Post were created over a year ago. It's not clear if the emails were stolen or fabricated -- maybe some of both -- but even if they're real, they show nothing more than a Ukrainian businessman thanking Hunter for introducing him to Joe. The New York Times and Washington Post both reported that U.S. intelligence warned the White House last year that Russian intelligence was trying to use Giuliani as a conduit for influence operations, and had met with him in December 2019 when Rudy traveled to Ukraine looking for information that could tie the Bidens to corruption. [...]

Releasing these Hunter Biden emails, in this way, at this time, looks like an attempt to replicate last election's October surprises. On October 7, 2016, news of the Access Hollywood tape with Trump saying "grab them by the pussy" became public, and within a half hour, WikiLeaks began posting hacked emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. On October 28, FBI Director James Comey informed Congress of more Hillary Clinton emails to review.

Those email stories dominated the news, but the Hunter Biden emails haven't. Hunter isn't the candidate. Biden isn't Hillary. And 2020 isn't 2016.

Rudy: Only '50/50' Chance I Worked With a 'Russian Spy' to Dig Dirt on Bidens: In a wild interview, the president's personal attorney made clear he believes he's on a mission to torpedo the Bidens. And he doesn't care who supplied the ammunition. (Asawin Suebsaeng & Erin Banco,  Oct. 17, 2020, Daily Beast)

Sure, the U.S. Treasury Department may have declared one of his former associates--Ukrainian parliamentarian Andrii Derkach, who worked with Giuliani on his hunt for dirt on the Bidens--to be an "active Russian agent." But that's some Deep State talk, he added. "The chance that Derkach is a Russian spy is no better than 50/50."

"My guess is that George Soros is behind this counter-offensive... because he wants to create a socialist country," Giuliani baselessly alleged. "He'd like to see us collapse and see us taken over by the international... whatever." Giuliani said that Derkach's eventual sanctioning was the result of "an intelligence ploy to try to create problems for Trump--because Derkach could probably bury Obama." [...]

Giuliani said he viewed his latest leak to the New York Post as an extension of his years-long efforts to work with Ukrainians to dig up dirt on the Bidens. But nearly all of his former Ukrainian associates have either been arrested and indicted by federal law enforcement or are no longer welcome in the U.S. One of those individuals is Derkach, the pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian sanctioned by the Treasury Department for being a "Russian agent" and peddling disinformation to undermine the 2020 presidential elections.

As The Daily Beast has previously reported, Derkach for years has tried to pass damaging--and largely false--information about the Ukraine government's supposed attempts to undermine Trump, and the Bidens' supposed dirty dealings in Kyiv. Derkach dispatched packets of disinformation about the Obama administration and the Bidens to lawmakers on Capitol Hill throughout 2019 and finally met with Giuliani in December 2019 in Kyiv during the middle of the House impeachment process. Derkach and Giuliani appeared together in an anti-Biden television series produced by the Trumpist network OAN, and Giuliani has interviewed Derkach about the Bidens on his YouTube video series Common Sense.

Posted by at October 17, 2020 8:33 AM