Biden ‘Kept Private Email Accounts’ as VP Under Fake Names ‘Robin Ware’ & ‘Robert L. Peters’: Report

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US President Joe Biden is battling accusations that he used his vice presidential position in Barack Obama’s administration to meddle into his son Hunter Biden’s business deals while the latter was a board member of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Joe Biden is being accused of using several private e-mail accounts while serving as vice president to maintain correspondence with his son Hunter, using fake names including “Robin Ware”, “JRB ware” and “Robert L. Peters”, the New York Post claims.

Biden, who is required by law to preserve all his work correspondence, is said to have forwarded Hunter some of his work e-mails from private addresses.

The messages have apparently surfaced on a laptop that was abandoned at a Delaware repair store in April 2019 and was said to have belonged to Hunter by the shop’s owner. A copy of the laptop’s hard drive was handed over to Donald Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani, who shared it with the New York Post last year. The media has been scrutinising the laptop’s content ever since.

Hunter himself previously said that the laptop could “absolutely” be his but stopped short of admitting to having left it at the repair place.

‘Ukraine’ Emails Forwarded to Hunter

According to the Post, during a four-week period in 2016, the Vice President’s office’s then-staffer John Flynn sent Joe Biden his official daily schedule via a private e-mail address: Robert.L.Peters@pci.gov, copying Hunter.

Flynn apparently cc’d Hunter into 10 e-mails between 18 May and 15 June 2016. One of these messages, dated on 26 May 2016, included a scheduled “8.45am prep for 9am phonecall with [Ukraine] Pres Poroshenko”.

© AP PHOTO / PATRICK SEMANSKY
Joe Biden (right), his son Hunter Biden (left) and grandson Beau Biden (centre)

Another purported e-mail discovered on the laptop was forwarded to Hunter and his late brother Beau (then Delaware’s attorney general) from the e-mail addresses RobinWare456@gmail.com on 26 March 2012.

The e-mail is said to have originally come from US Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft and was forwarded to Biden from current Secretary of State Antony Blinken:

“Beau visited Kyev [Ukraine] on the Friday and gave a talk on corruption at the Hyatt . . . then attended a reception at the residence where he met many young Ukrainian lawyers,” Tefft allegedly wrote. “We received many compliments on his presentation and for simply a frank discussion of a problem that still bedevils this country.”

The Post claims that his message was forwarded to Hunter and Beau by Joe Biden but doesn’t provide screenshots of the e-mails or give any further details. The White House has not confirmed the authenticity of these claims.

Last year, the DNS Institute’s Domain Name System security report described a @pci.gov domain used by the ‘Robert Peters’ e-mail address as a problematic one and prone to vulnerabilities. There is a fear among US government analysts that the use of private e-mails may make the hacking of secretive information much easier – notwithstanding the conflict of interests that the use of private accounts potentially creates.

As per rules, all Joe Biden working correspondence should have been preserved by the National Archives, so he had to make sure any of his e-mails sent to Hunter Biden were also forwarded to a government account.

Hunter’s Problematic Job

Hunter Biden took a job on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings in 2014, during Petro Poroshenko’s presidential term, which ended in 2019.

At the same time, Hunter’s father Joe Biden was overseeing America’s policy towards Ukraine in Barack Obama’s administration. The critics maintained at that time that his role signalled a potential conflict of interest over his son’s post but Biden maintained that his behaviour has never been unethical. The president also repeatedly claimed that he had never been involved in his son’s business deals.

However, according to e-mails cited by the Post, Joe Biden was introduced to Burisma top executive Vadym Pozharskyi by his son Hunter in April 2015.

It was also widely reported that in December 2015, several months after the alleged meeting, Biden threatened Poroshenko that he’d withhold $1 billion in US aid to Ukraine if the president refused to fire Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma at that time. Shokin was dismissed from his post in March 2016.

Despite a strong backlash due to Biden’s family business deals in Ukraine, Joe Biden has never been probed for his alleged involvement into Shokin’s dismissal or son’s appointment to Burisma despite a lack of previous experience in the sector. The furore around a potential conflict of interest led to Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial in January 2020 after he was accused of pressuring Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into the family. Trump was eventually acquitted by the US Senate in February 2020.

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