According to purported email transcripts released on Telegram by QAnon-linked attorney Lin Wood to retaliate against Tucker Carlson for giving Kyle Rittenhouse a platform to criticize him, Hunter Biden wrote a letter of recommendation urging Georgetown University to admit Carlson’s son into college.
I want to understand all of this in exquisite detail. Where do we start?
How about with Carlson and Hunter Biden? In 2020, the Fox News host used many, many hours on his show to hype up the purported scandals revealed by materials on a laptop that Hunter Biden had allegedly left at a repair shop in Delaware but failed to picked up. The owner of the shop says he gave a copy of the laptop’s hard drive to Rudy Giuliani for reasons that he has never fully explained. Giuliani then created a right-wing media storm by giving documents from the laptop to the New York Post.
CNN has reported that the FBI is, in fact, in possession of a laptop which it subpoenaed from a store in Delaware during an investigation into tax- or corruption-related crimes Hunter Biden may have committed during foreign business dealings in China and elsewhere. CNN has also reported, however, that the laptop’s contents may not be authentic. Hunter Biden has not been charged with any crimes in the matter, and Carlson and other right-wing media outlets never presented credible evidence that Joe Biden had any involvement in his son’s business activities, which was supposed to be the entire point of the scandal. That’s where the story ended, except for a random outburst in April 2021 in which Carlson alleged without presenting any supporting evidence or even explaining himself that the Biden laptop contained child pornography. (To be clear: No evidence of this at all.)
Who is Lin Wood?
Wood is a Southern attorney who has gradually transitioned from sensational but legitimate work for clients like Richard Jewell and Nicholas Sandmann into the world of far-right and QAnon-linked conspiracies (before he was banned from Twitter, his bio included the Q-follower motto “#WWG1WGA,” which stands for “when we go one, we go all.”) He has, for example, accused Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts of being involved in sex trafficking and claimed that former vice president Mike Pence was potentially going to be executed for treason, allegations apparently motivated by those figures’ unwillingness to support a coup on Donald Trump’s behalf. Wood’s behavior has become increasingly alienating even to other conspiracy-inclined members of the MAGA right, a conflict which came to a head over his representation of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was recently acquitted on charges of murdering two men at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020.* Rittenhouse’s family retained Wood after the shooting, but then came to believe he was using them for publicity rather than advocating for their best interests. (At one point, Wood allegedly punched another man raising money for Rittenhouse in the face. He has denied doing so.) Kyle Rittenhouse, since being acquitted, has criticized Wood during interviews with figures like Carlson; his family is also in a dispute with Wood over who should take possession of $2 million in bail money that was raised after Kyle Rittenhouse’s arrest. Right-wingers like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have taken Rittenhouse’s side and denounced Wood.
It’s sad to see friends torn apart like that.
Yes. Wood has reacted by accusing essentially everyone else in the right-wing and QAnon world of working on behalf of the “Deep State” against Trump. This would presumably be the point of releasing the alleged documentation of a relationship between Carlson and Biden; per QAnon/conspiracy researcher Mike Rothschild, Wood posted the alleged email exchange between the two on the secure messaging app Telegram. It begins like so in a message dated Nov. 12, 2014; Buckley is Carlson’s son, whose name I’m including because he’s now an adult (who, as it happens, is the communications director for Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks):
I can’t thank you enough for writing that letter to Georgetown on Buckley’s behalf. So nice of you. I know it will help.
Hope you’re great and we can all get dinner soon.
The message seems to imply a prior agreement to write a letter of recommendation. Biden then responds that he needs Buckley’s C.V., which Carlson says he’ll have someone send. That’s the end of the exchange. (The younger Carlson ended up going the University of Virginia.)
Is it real?
Neither Carlson or Biden have commented on the matter. Rothschild said on Twitter that other far-right Telegram users posted it before Wood and that it may have come from “Tore, aka Terpischore Maras Lindeman, yet another stolen election crank who claims she’s a time traveler.” Its ultimate origins are unknown, though there’s been speculation that it came from the aforementioned Hunter Biden laptop files.
Is Tucker Carlson a fraud? Was he just pretending to be disgusted by Hunter Biden this entire time?
Not necessarily. Carlson has previously mentioned on-air, in the course of claiming to be saddened by the alleged Chinese crimes Hunter Biden has allegedly since committed, that he used to have a relationship with Hunter Biden. Having asked for letter of recommendation in 2014 would fit into Carlson’s own timeline.
It kind of undermines his whole claim to be generally appalled by the mores and corruption of the ruling class, though.
It does, yes, and as Never Trump writer Tim Miller points out, it would be ironic if the laptop Carlson spent so much time talking about—with the ostensible goal of showing that Hunter and Joe Biden used their name and influence to get things they didn’t deserve—actually showed him asking to use the Biden family name to get something he/his son may or may not have deserved. So perhaps you could argue that Carlson’s disgust is sincere, but only in the sense that when he denounces the “elite” for taking part in this kind of chummy and self-perpetuating favor-trading, he’s really … denouncing himself.
That’s a really deep and interesting observation, Dr. Melfi. Anyway, does part of the story of Wood’s crackup somehow involve former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne accusing former Trump election attorney Sidney “Kraken” Powell of retaliating against him because he wouldn’t have sex with her?
Are you going to find out what that’s all about?
Because it’s Miller Time?
It’s time to crack a cold one. Here’s to the Deep State!
Correction, Dec. 6, 2021: This piece originally misstated where Kyle Rittenhouse killed two men at a protest. It was in Kenosha, not Waukesha, Wisconsin.