They're bad at this: Giant holes appear in right-wing tabloid world's 'gotcha email' credited to Hunter Biden's lawyer

Russian stooges on the American pro-Trump media are desperate. After the New York Post's salacious story on a supposed email on a supposed hard drive on a supposed laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was directly linked to Rudy Giuliani, who's been compromised by Russia, the pro-Trump propaganda outlets have been grasping at straws to try to revive the story and give it legitimacy. Even reporters who worked on the story refused to allow their bylines to be used in a clear indication of how unreliable it was.

Steve Bannon, the white supremacist at the center of the Trump-Russia world, claimed on Sunday that he is in possession of emails from Hunter Biden's attorney proving that the hard drive at the center of the consternation is indeed belongs to the younger Biden. To follow that up, a blue check in the Trump world released what he claimed to be a redacted version of an email Hunter Biden's lawyer sent to the owner of the computer shop who supposedly turned over to Rudy Giuliani a copy of a hard drive purportedly seized by the FBI a year ago. The following is the image released:

Photo: Adam Housley, Twitter

The only verifiable part of this is that George Mesires is, in fact, Hunter Biden's lawyer. This much became a matter of public record in 2019 when he issued a statement about H. Biden's business dealings overseas. Nothing else about the email is either verifiable or incriminating.

The first thing I noticed was that the email makes no reference to any hard drive or laptop. It made me curious, so I looked up the law firm and the attorney. When I did, the redactions from Housley struck me as odd, because Mr. Mesires' email and direct line are both listed on the public website of Faegre Drinker, where Mr. Mesires is a partner.

Why would Housley redact from the purported screenshot of an email information that is not, in fact, private? And why release a screenshot of a forwarded version of an email which cannot be authenticated by examining the email route? And why would a lawyer, based in Chicago, refer to a time before 6pm local time as "night" (Chicago is one hour behind the screenshot's noted tomezone)? Lastly but most importantly, why would an attorney contact the store owner to get back a laptop hard drive that the store owner, Giuliani and others involved with the story have sworn is now in possession of the FBI?

None of it makes any sense, unless of course, the email itself is a forgery and a badly crafted attempt to give false legitimacy to a story that has fallen apart.

Here's something else that doesn't make any sense. Hunter Biden is a California resident. The computer repair shop made famous by the story is in Delaware. But Mr. Mesires is not a member of either the California Bar or the Delaware Bar. His bar admissions are listed on the law firm's website to be New York and Illinois, and his office is in Illinois. Why would Hunter Biden's law firm, which has offices - and partners - in both California and Delaware, use a partner in Chicago who is not admitted to the bar in either state, to contact the store owner and send this email? It would not at all have been difficult for the law firm to find a staff attorney in Delaware to byline the email.

These questions deserve answers, especially given that the FBI is now investigating Rudy Giuliani for being not just a Russian asset but the specific conduit through which Russians are spreading this specific disinformation.

But what all this really says is that with barely two weeks to go, Trump's allies - both here at home and in Moscow - are growing more and more desperate as power appears to slip away.

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