WASHINGTON (SBG) — A New York Post report alleging former Vice President Joe Biden wasn't honest about his son's overseas business dealings has reignited a Republican effort in the Senate to find wrongdoing by the Bidens, while those who aren't political allies of President Donald Trump cast serious doubts about the story's legitimacy.
The New York Post's parent company, News Corp, is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has close ties to Trump.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, told Fox News Wednesday the committee will investigate the validity of the report's claims. This comes after his committee's recent investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by the former vice president in his work on foreign policy related to his son Hunter Biden's role as a board member on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
The New York Post reports Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, gave their reporters a hard drive containing emails proving Hunter Biden introduced him to a Burisma executive less than a year before Biden pressured Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who had investigated Burisma.
Shokin's firing was in the spotlight earlier this year during Trump's impeachment proceedings. Former American and Ukrainian officials stated Shokin was removed by the Ukrainian parliament for his failure to investigate corruption in the country.
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Politico, "We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”
The New York Post reported the emails were discovered by a computer shop owner on a water-damaged laptop that was dropped off for repair but never retrieved. The laptop reportedly had a Beau Biden Foundation sticker on it. The report claimed the shop owner made a copy of the hard drive and gave it to Giuliani's lawyer.
The story also alleges the Federal Bureau of Investigation had a copy of the hard drive.
This chain of custody and other details of the report are suspect to many, prompting Twitter and Facebook to limit its distribution on the platforms.
Democratic strategist Tim Hogan said the New York Post report has no credibility.
“I don’t think that there is a more compelling Russian disinformation plot you could invent or write if you wanted to make it up," Hogan said. “I hope that we’ve learned our lesson a little bit from 2016 and we’re not addicted to the story of hacked hard drives because this smells really clearly of a disinformation plot.”
Hogan pointed to Giuliani's history of working with Ukrainian nationals who have been sanctioned by the federal government as active Russian agents attempting to meddle in U.S. elections.
“It appears that if you couldn’t get Ron Johnson to launder your disinformation to put it in the committee report, I guess you go to Rudy Giuliani to get it out there from the New York Post," Hogan said.
Hogan said voters will not care about a "tabloid story" that has not been authenticated.
“This shouldn’t take up oxygen in October. This is a hail Mary from Trump and his allies to try to change the conversation but it’s not going to work," Hogan said.
Peter Schweizer, author of "Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite," acknowledged the legitimacy of the emails is in question but the report is consistent with his research into the Bidens. He said it will be important to hear a response from Burisma.
“At the end of the day, the question is: Is the information accurate and does it conform with what we already know?” Schweizer said.