Twenty months after Hunter Biden’s laptop was verified and its contents authenticated by top experts, CBS News has admitted to its legitimacy.
CBS first denied the laptop’s authenticity after files from the laptop were published prior to the 2020 presidential election, when, during an interview with Donald Trump, “60 Minutes” host Lesley Stahl insisted to the former president that the contents couldn’t be verified.
CBS was one of many left-leaning outlets such as The New York Times that called it “the focus of an effort by President Trump’s allies to undermine the Biden campaign” and MSNBC that doubted and even outright denied the authenticity of the laptop amid the Biden administration insisting that it was Russian disinformation.
On Monday, however, CBS this morning changed their story, running a segment with former Secret Service member and computer forensics expert Mark Lanterman who said that he and his son Sean had independently verified the laptop, finding no evidence of external tampering.
The story referenced a voicemail from President Joe Biden, telling his son he “needed to get help” for his drug addiction. They pinned the timing of the report to Republicans threatening to launch an investigation into the president’s complicity in Hunter’s foreign business deals.
UK-based publication the Daily Mail first authenticated the laptop in March 2021, the only major news organization to publicly verify its contents, using expert analysis. For other outlets, the scandal was primarily dismissed, and social media companies censored the stories. Whistleblowers have claimed the FBI sent agents specifically to obstruct investigations.
When Lanterman was asked if he believed what he saw on the laptop was real and that it belonged to the president’s son, he simply answered “Yes,” adding that his analysis found it would be difficult to add any additional files to the laptop, crushing suggestions that foreign agents could be trying to plant information. Drivers licenses and social security numbers found saved to the device proved it belonged to Hunter Biden.
Conservative voices reacted with disdain for the story, questioning why CBS was claiming victory when they had been among those to censor the story nearly two years after it had been confirmed.
“Anyone with five braincells has known Hunter Biden’s laptop is real,” said Daily Mail Columnist Meghan McCain. “I’m extremely confused why CBS is taking a victory lap or taking any kind of credit on this today – years late?”
“After laughing off reports for two years, the mainstream media wants to claim a victory lap over their independent review. You cannot make this up,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wrote on Twitter.
The Daily Mail hired top cyber forensics experts at Maryman & Associates early last year, tasking them to examine the hard drive and determine its authenticity.
Brad Maryman, the firm’s founder, was a 29-year veteran of the FBI, serving as a chief information security officer and founding the bureau’s cyber forensics unit. Dr. Joseph Greenfield, his partner, is an associate professor at the University of Southern California and was instrumental in writing their degree program in intelligence and cyber operations.
Maryman and Greenfield produced a report for the Daily Mail, detailing their findings after an extensive analysis of the hard drive.
“The operating system timestamps appear to be authentic, and no evidence was found to suggest that the timestamps or data were altered or manufactured,” the report said. “No indications were found that would suggest the data was manufactured.”
The Daily Mail reported that “The sheer volume, interconnectedness and consistency of the data was a major factor in the cyber forensics experts coming to their conclusion over its authenticity.”
The experts found emails from multiple accounts on the laptop dating back to 2009 and other data which “appears to be related to Mr. Biden” between 2016 and 2019.
Hunter’s iCloud email address and work email were both present as well as emails addressed to Hunter’s various addresses. An iPad named “Hunter’s iPad” was also found linked to the laptop’s iCloud account.
This iPad had a backup dating from January 2019, and 818 call logs were found in this iPad backup as well as 8,942 entries to the iPad’s contacts book.
These and other findings were consistent with information from Jack Maxey, a political activist and former Steve Bannon podcast co-host who first gave the laptop to the Daily Mail, and John Paul Mac Isaac, who owned the computer repair shop where Biden dropped off the laptop.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.