Yesterday, as things moved closer to an expulsion vote for George Santos, activist “Anarchy Princess” taunted Santos staffer, Vish Burra, about whether he hacked Hunter Biden’s phone.
AP: Like the same way that you got into Hunter Biden’s stuff?
AP: Yeah, didn’t you hack Hunter Biden’s shit, his phone or something?
VB: [turns to camera] Yeah, and I’d do it again.
Burra, who in 2020 was the producer of Steve Bannon’s podcast, has previously described “extracting” the contents of the “laptop” and took credit for hooking Bannon up with Emma-Jo Morris, who published the initial NY Post story.
Hunter Biden described Burra’s past claims in his lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani and Robert Costello for unlawfully accessing and manipulating his data.
As further evidence of Defendants’ illegal hacking of Plaintiff’s data, it recently has come to light that Defendant Giuliani apparently worked directly with Steve Bannon and Vish Burra to access, manipulate, and copy Plaintiff’s “laptop,” which Burra has dubbed the “Manhattan Project” because he and others “were essentially creating a nuclear political weapon,” referring to Burra’s work with Defendant Giuliani and others (Steve Bannon and Bernie Kerik) to manipulate the “laptop.”
But Burra has not, as far as I know, confessed to “hack[ing] Hunter Biden’s shit.”
Yesterday — whether in jest or not — he did.
Later that same day, Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger had their semi-annual appearance before Jim Jordan’s Weaponizing Government committee.
At the hearing, Dan Goldman had this exchange with Shellenberger about the “Hunter Biden” “laptop:”
DG: You’ve talked about the Hunter Biden laptop, and how the FBI knew it existed. You are aware, of course, that the laptop, so to speak, was actually — that was published in the New York Post was actually a hard drive that the NY Post admitted — here! — was not authenticated as real. It was not the laptop the FBI had. You’re aware of that, right?
MS: It was the same contents.
DG: How do you know?
MS: Because it’s the same —
DG: You would have to authenticate it to know it was the same contents. You have no idea.
MS: [inaudible] conspiracy. Are you suggesting the NY Post participated in a conspiracy to construct the contents of the Hunter Biden laptop?
DG: No, sir, the problem is that hard drives can be manipulated by Rudy Giuliani or Russia.
MS: What’s the evidence that that happened?
DG: Well, there is actual evidence of it, but the point —
MS: There’s no evidence of it. You’re engaged in a conspiracy theory.
Miranda Devine (who keeps dog-whistling about Hunter Biden’s “expensive” lawyers) and the House GOP all seem to think this was a very clever exchange, as that’s the clip they all sent out to froth up the rubes.
Goldman is right: You’d need to authenticate the contents of the “laptop.” As I have shown, even the FBI had not checked whether anything was altered on the laptop they received while in John Paul Mac Isaac’s custody, ten months after receiving it. Their computer guy was still suggesting ways to do that on October 22, 2020, over a week after the NY Post story was published. At the time, Lesley Wolf — the villain of the Republican story — was in no rush to do so.
Understand, though: the critical question here is not whether the hard drive was authenticated. The question is whether it was hacked. Here’s how Vijaya Gadde described the decision to take down the original NY Post link in October 2020.
For example, on October 14th, 2020, the New York Post tweeted articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop with embedded images that look like they may have been obtained through hacking. In 2018, we had developed a policy intended to, to prevent Twitter from becoming a dumping ground for hacked materials. We applied this policy to the New York Post tweets and blocked links to the articles embedding those source materials. At no point did Twitter otherwise prevent tweeting, reporting, discussing or describing the contents of Mr. Biden’s laptop.
If the data in NY Post’s hands was hacked, then according to Twitter’s terms of service, links to it should have been taken down.
If the data in NY Post’s hands was hacked, then the takedown that Republicans claim was a violation of their speech was, in fact, adherence to Twitter’s terms of service as they existed at the time.
And Hunter Biden’s lawsuit alleges that Rudy Giuliani and Robert Costello unlawfully accessed — hacked — his data.
And yesterday, Burra — the guy who set up the tie between Bannon and the NY Post in the first place — laughingly agreed that he did hack Hunter Biden’s shit.
Now, Michael Shellenberger says there’s no evidence the data on the hard drive was altered by Burra and others. Miranda Devine says you have to take the word of the Bidens to believe that happened.
They said that the same day Burra laughingly said he would hack Hunter Biden again.
More importantly, you don’t have to go to the Bidens for evidence that the hard drive was altered. You can go to Garrett Ziegler, whom Hunter Biden has also accused of hacking his shit.
In the set of emails publicly released by Ziegler at BidenLaptopEmails dot com, there is an email from Hunter Biden’s Rosemont Seneca email account (hosted by Gmail), that was sent on September 1, 2020 ET (September 2 GMT).
It’s a resent version of an email sent in 2016 (DDOS says that a footer was also altered).
If everything John Paul Mac Isaac says is true, if everything Rudy Giuliani says is true, this “laptop” was in the custody of Rudy Giuliani (or Robert Costello, on Rudy’s behalf) on the date it was sent. Whoever resent this email — and it was sent over a year after Hunter left Burisma — it was added to the “laptop” while it was in Rudy’s custody.
I’ll leave it to the lawyers and the tech people to explain how an email set from an account hosted by Gmail was added to the hard drive from which Garrett Ziegler obtained his copy. I’ll leave it to the lawyers to argue about whether it would necessarily require unauthorized access to Hunter Biden’s Gmail or iCloud account for that email to be on the hard drive.
But it’s something that could not have been on the laptop when someone — allegedly Hunter Biden — dropped off a laptop at John Paul Mac Isaac’s shop on April 12, 2019. By all understandings of the dissemination of various hard drives — which Thomas Fine has illustrated this way — it would have been on what NY Post worked from on its October 14, 2020 story.
There’s no evidence, Michael Shellenberger said. You’re supposed to take the words of the Bidens, Miranda Devine said.
And on the same day they made those claims, Vish Burra said, of hacking Hunter Biden’s stuff, “Yeah, and I’d do it again.”