December 10, 2020
The Biden-Harris transition team announced yesterday that federal prosecutors in Delaware are investigating the taxes of Joe Biden’s son Hunter, prompting a wave of conspiracy theories from President Donald Trump’s supporters and commentators. (The Associated Press reported that a source familiar with the probe said it dealt in part with the younger Biden’s business dealings in China.) Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk suggested without evidence in a tweet that the news was concealed until after the election in order to benefit Biden’s campaign. Jack Posobiec also implied the news was suppressed until after all states had certified their election results. His post was retweeted over 13,000 times. The Biden campaign’s statement said Hunter Biden was unaware of the investigation until December 8 and no reporting has contradicted this claim. Other users, including the @Qtah account that frequently references QAnon, suggested the investigation would eventually implicate Joe Biden. National Pulse editor Raheem Kassam went so far as to call the reported investigation “a stitch up designed to ‘clear’” the younger Biden, referring to the transition team’s statement as “disinformation.”
The news has also energized various conspiracy theories about Attorney General Bill Barr. Some conservative commentators accused Barr, who has come under fire recently for contradicting Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud, of simply “want[ing] to look like he’s doing something since his job is on the line.” Others, referencing Trump’s earlier calls for the DoJ to investigate the Bidens, speculated without evidence that the move was politically motivated. — FD staff
This analysis is from our disinformation email briefings.
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