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Trump asks Barr to open investigation based on questionable reports regarding Hunter Biden's emails

Trump asks Barr to open investigation based on questionable reports regarding Hunter Biden's emails
Posted at 8:21 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 11:42:37-04

During an interview on Fox News on Tuesday, President Donald Trump called on Attorney General William Barr to open a corruption investigation into Joe Biden's alleged ties to Ukraine based on information contained in emails reportedly taken from a laptop that may or may not have belonged to Biden's son.

"We've got to get the Attorney General to act. He's got to act and he's got to act fast. He's got to appoint someone," Trump said Tuesday during an interview on Fox & Friends. "This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election."

Trump was referring to a report first published in the New York Post last week that was based on emails allegedly recovered from a laptop left at a Delaware computer repair shop.

The Post claimed the emails were taken from a laptop belonging to Biden's son, Hunter, and showed that the younger Biden was contacted by the adviser to the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. In the emails, allegedly, the Ukrainian official thanked Hunter Biden for giving him an opportunity to meet his father.

Some Republicans have seized on the story, calling it a "smoking gun." They claim that such a meeting would be a conflict of interest, given Joe Biden's political influence and Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board.

However, the Post's story left several questions about the authenticity of the emails unanswered. The owner of the repair shop, where the laptop was recovered, was unable to identify the computer's owner. The shop owner did say a Beau Biden Foundation sticker was attached to the computer.

There's also no evidence that Hunter Biden responded to the email from the Ukranian energy advisor.

The Biden campaign says the former Vice President's schedule shows no meetings with that advisor.

Finally, the Post said it obtained materials and information for the story from Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's personal lawyers.

Citing sources, The New York Times reported Monday that one of the Post journalists who wrote the story asked that his name not be attached to the article "because he had concerns over the article's credibility."

Despite Trump's claim that the emails show Joe Biden has an inclination to use his political office for personal enrichment, Trump and his family have an extensive history of dubious business practices. The New York Times reports that Trump has leveraged the office of the presidency to drive business to his resorts and hotels.

Trump's call to action to Barr is just his latest call for the neutral agency to delve into cases that would be politically advantageous to the president.

Earlier this month, Trump said he was "disappointed" in Barr for his inaction on voter fraud investigations and his inability to recover emails deleted by Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 election.

Weeks ago, 1,600 former Department of Justice lawyers signed an open letter that claimed Barr was abusing the power of his office to help Trump win reelection.