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Biden campaign targets NY Times for opinion essay that accuses him of ‘self-dealing’ in Ukraine

Joe Biden’s campaign sent a letter to the New York Times blasting the newspaper’s coverage of allegations against the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden in regards to the Ukraine.

Deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield wrote to the paper’s executive editor Dean Baquet to complain about an opinion piece written by conservative author Peter Schweizer, who argued a legal loophole in American law that allows foreign companies or governments to hiring the family members of American politicians should be closed.

‘Despite voluminous work done by the independent press and fact-checkers — including some by The Times — to refute the heinous conspiracy theory that Donald Trump attempted to bully Ukraine into propping-up for him, the paper ran an op-ed by none other than Peter Schweizer, making more malicious claims about the Biden family,’ Bedingfield wrote. 

Joe Biden’s campaign sent letter to New York Times blasting its coverage of the allegations against him and Hunter Biden in regards to Ukraine

The Biden campaign took issue with an op-ed written by conservative author Peter Schweizer, whose book has been used by Donald Trump to criticize the former vice president

The Biden campaign took issue with an op-ed written by conservative author Peter Schweizer, whose book has been used by Donald Trump to criticize the former vice president

Bedingfield called Schweizer a ‘discredited right-wing polemicist’ and suggested the publication of his op-ed was part of a larger pattern of ‘journalistic malpractice’ on the part of the Times. 

‘This leaves us with a critical question: are you truly blind to what you got wrong in 2016, or are you deliberately continuing policies that distort reality for the sake of controversy and the clicks that accompany it?’ she added in the letter obtained by CNN.

The push against the Times followed complaints the campaign sent to Facebook and Twitter, asking the social media companies to take down a Trump campaign ad that pushes a debunked theory about Biden and the Ukraine.

And it indicates the Biden campaign will be more aggressive in fighting missives from Trump, who repeatedly railed against ‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, arguing she should be in jail for her use of a private email server while secretary of state. An FBI investigation did not result in charges against Clinton. 

Schweizer, in his op-ed, cited Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian gas company, which he noted was legal but suggested it shouldn’t be. He also cited work done by family members of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. 

But Schweizer also been a longtime critic of Biden and has pushed the unsubstantiated claim that Biden abused his power while vice president.

Donald Trump has latched on to Schweizer’s reporting to push the unproven theory that Biden – when he was vice president – called for a Ukrainian prosecutor to be removed from office to help a company where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board. 

Schweizer’s 2018 book ‘Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends’ pushed the idea Joe and Hunter Biden where involved with corruption in the Ukraine, according to Bloomberg News. 

The book has also been used by Trump to claim that Hunter made $1.5 billion in corrupt dealings with China, another unsubstantiated theory. 

The president has quoted Schwiezer on Twitter and mentioned his book by name.  

The book reports on the Chinese firm associated with Hunter Biden wanted to raise $1.5 billion in capital. 

Trump’s July 25 call to the Ukrainian president, where he tried to convince him to open an investigation into the Biden’s, led to the formal impeachment inquiry into him.  

The Times defended its coverage.

A spokesperson for the newspaper told CNN it ‘will continue to cover Joe Biden with the same tough and fair standards we apply to every candidate in the race and we’re happy to sit down with Biden advisers anytime to discuss news coverage.’

The spokesperson pointed out the Schweizer piece was published by the paper’s opinion section ‘where their mission is to invite intelligent discussion on a range of opinions and ideas.’  

‘The op-ed makes an argument that nonpartisan government watchdogs would make, arguing in favor of a law that would prohibit self-dealing by those with government connections,’ the person noted. 

The Biden campaign has gone on the offense as Trump has repeatedly criticized the former vice president and his son about the Ukraine, blasting them on Twitter and in campaign ads.

Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted Joe Biden for his ties to the Ukraine

Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted Joe Biden for his ties to the Ukraine

Team Biden has reached out to Facebook and Twitter to ask them to remove a 30-second Trump campaign ad pushing a debunked theory about the Ukraine and Biden.

Facebook told the campaign it was not taking down the ad. Twitter has not yet responded.

Facebook does not fact-check campaign ads and pointed to the company’s ‘fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and belief that in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is.’ 

The Biden campaign called the actions by the social media companies irresponsible. 

‘Whether it originates from the Kremlin or Trump Tower, these lies and conspiracy theories threaten to undermine the integrity of our elections in America. It is unacceptable for any social media company to knowingly allow deliberately misleading material to corrupt its platform,’ Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo said in a statement. 

The ad accuses Biden of using his power of vice president to benefit his son Hunter. CNN refused to air the ad. 

Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, which was accused of corrupt practices. 

Joe Biden, while vice president, pushed for Ukraine’s top prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired, alleging he hadn’t done enough to fight corruption in the country. The EU was also pushing for Shokin’s ouster. 

There has been no evidence of any wrong-doing on behalf of the Bidens.  


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