NOW? NY Times sues State Dept. over FOIA requests involving Hunter Biden-related emails

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Now that the 2020 presidential election is long gone and President Joe Biden’s approval ratings are on the decline, The New York Times has a newfound interest in scrutinizing the activities of his crack-smoking son, Hunter.

The interest runs deep enough that the Times filed a lawsuit against the Biden State Department on Monday demanding access to emails sent by officials at the Embassy of Romania in D.C. between 2015 and 2019, according to Politico.

The Times initially sought access to the emails in December, but the State Department told them to not expect a response til April 2023, i.e., months after the 2022 midterm elections.

These emails are of concern to the Times because they include the names Hunter Biden and Tony Bobulinski. The latter, Bobulinski, is a former associate of the president’s youngest son.

“One of the Times’ goals in the suit appears to be finding out whether embassy officials did any favors on behalf of private businesses (including, presumably, that of the president’s son) that would raise questions about possible conflicts of interest and corruption,” Politico notes.

The suit reportedly specifically asks for records about “(1) the possible improper use of federal government resources to assist and advance private business interests with connections to United States government officials and (2) the possible evasion of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by those private business interests, and (3) the non-enforcement of FARA by the federal government in relation to those private business interests.”

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” late Tuesday, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald said they’re basically “pursuing the possibility that Hunter Biden was trading on his father’s influence in order to represent corrupt Romanians at the time that his father was vice president.”

Or put differently, the possibility that Joe Biden himself “was trading on his influence as vice president to generate profit for his son and for his family.”

While it’s a positive sign that the Times is finally looking into this, Greenwald appeared annoyed by the timing.

“I don’t think we’ve ever fully processed how extraordinary it was that right before the election, every outlet now concerned about Joe Rogan’s ‘disinformation’ spread the CIA lie that the Hunter Biden emails were Russian disinformation,” he said.

“That was used to censor the entire story. These are the people so deeply worried about this ‘disinformation,’ and then they never went back and retracted that story even when a political reporter proved those emails were actually real. … Now that there’s no election, I guess we’re allowed to hear about it.”

He has, however, given credit to the Times’ Kenneth Vogel, one journalist who he argues has at least made an effort to discern the truth.

Indeed, Vogel was one of the authors of a May 2019 Times piece that included information about Hunter’s Romanian business endeavors.

“In addition to his work in Ukraine for the energy company Burisma, Hunter Biden advised a Romanian businessman with ties to the United States, Gabriel Popoviciu, whose real estate dealings had come under investigation, according to people familiar with the arrangement, which has not been previously reported,” the piece read.

“The investigation, which came as the United States and its allies were pushing Romania to clamp down on corruption, led to Mr. Popoviciu’s conviction and a prison sentence.”

The only problem was that the story wasn’t about Hunter Biden. It was about then-President Donald Trump’s attempts to uncover the truth about Hunter — attempts that the Times’ sources called “a terrible breach of norms.”

And then when, months later, Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, advised the public to “keep your eye on Romania” vis-a-vis Hunter, the Times decided to zero in on him.

“Giuliani Is Drawing Attention to Hunter Biden’s Work in Romania. But There’s a Problem,” the headline of an October 2019 piece reads.

To the Times’ credit, it appears to finally be trying to rectify its past mistakes, though the reason why remains unknown. One possibility, critics say, is that it’s seeking to hurt Biden in an attempt to knock him out before 2024. The general belief is that if he runs for reelection, he will definitely lose.

Regardless, the irony isn’t lost on Greenwald. Continuing his remarks on Fox News, he noted how both U.S. intelligence agencies and their media allies had worked hand-in-hard “to ensure that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.”

“They just outright lied and spread a complete falsehood to justify the suppression of that reporting that could have really undermined Joe Biden’s campaign,” he said, referencing the suppression of stories about Hunter’s business dealings.

And now, years later, the same thing is happening again, albeit with a twist.

“[The Biden administration] told the Times, oh we’ll get this information to you in 2023, namely after the next election in 2022, even though the law requires that they get it in in in 20 days. So there are a couple reporters, to their credit, at the New York Times serious about pursuing the story.”

It’s just too bad they didn’t feel like this in 2020 …

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Vivek Saxena

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