Longtime FBI signature expert says Hunter Biden signed receipt for abandoned laptop
President's son has tried to cast doubt on authenticity, origins of computer turned over to FBI by Delaware shop owner.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
- Chinese business deals
- Hunter Biden told CBS News
- Twitter has said it was a mistake to censor the contents
- Office of the Director of National Intelligence has declared the laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation
- Hunter Biden received some assistance from his father
- Ukrainian and Chinese business deals
- Hunter Biden's lawyers warned him when he first received a federal subpoena in 2016
A retired FBI counterintelligence agent with longtime expertise in signature analysis tells Just the News that Hunter Biden signed an April 2019 Delaware computer repair shop receipt, adding fresh evidence that a controversial laptop turned over to the bureau with eye-popping emails about Ukrainian and Chinese business deals belonged to the president's son.
Retired Special Agent Wayne A. Barnes, a 29-year FBI veteran who mastered signature analysis while unmasking Soviet spies during the Cold War, says the "R.H. Biden" signature — short for Robert Hunter Biden — on the receipt issued in spring 2019 from John Paul Mac Issac's repair shop in Delaware matches those on documents known to have been signed by the president's son, such as Social Security cards, driver's licenses and other public documents.
"The signature on the computer repair store from April 2019 was signed by RHB," Barnes wrote in a 24-page report commissioned by Just the News.
Barnes noted the receipt signature contains many of the same distinctive characteristics that Hunter Biden's signature contained on other public documents and exhibited no signs of forgery or digital replication.
"The general pattern and flow of the signature matches the other known signatures from RHB," Barnes wrote. "The R has its vertical line with the normal slight slant to the right. While the beginning of the top curved part of the R does not begin where RHB usually starts his — that is, by picking the pen off the paper and starting a new line. Here it commences from the bottom of the vertical line, lazily not lifting the pen off the paper. But then it goes up to his normal starting position, to the left of the top of the vertical line. This line then curves to the right and around and down to the middle of the vertical line.
"This curve of the R from the right, appropriately crosses the vertical line with a loop. This is in true 'contemplator' fashion. It is something which appears essential for RHB when writing his signature. It then goes back and up to the right, something well demonstrated in the other known examples.
"The line up to the top of the H follows the tail from the R as seen in the known signatures. Then it is the by-now-familiar butterfly pattern of the H which creates the full letter," it added.
You can read the full report here:
Barnes, who now works as a private investigator in Florida and has testified in court cases as an expert, was recommended to Just the News by several current and former FBI agents and supervisors, who said his work on signature matching was highly respected and played essential roles in solving cases ranging from counterintelligence threats to health care fraud.
His expert conclusion adds to a growing body of evidence that Hunter Biden likely turned over in April 2019 — and then abandoned — his laptop to the Delaware computer repair shop run by Mac Isaac, who subsequently turned it over to the FBI in December 2019 under a federal grand jury subpoena.
Hunter Biden has acknowledged he is under criminal investigation by the FBI on tax matters but in interviews during a recent book tour has tried to cast doubt on the authenticity and origins of the laptop that Mac Isaac has insisted he obtained lawfully from Hunter Biden and then turned over to the FBI.
"I really don't know what the answer is, that's the truthful answer," Hunter Biden told CBS News in an interview earlier this year. "I have no idea."
Asked whether it could have belonged to him, the president's son replied, "Certainly."
"Certainly, there could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me," he continued. "It could be that I was hacked, it could be that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me."
When the contents of the laptop first surfaced last fall during the 2020 presidential election, Biden defenders sought to portray the laptop as a fake. Several security experts declared — without evidence — that it was Russian disinformation, and Twitter censored and blocked early stories on the laptop until after Joe Biden defeated President Trump.
Since then, Twitter has said it was a mistake to censor the contents, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has declared the laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign, an assessment the FBI does not challenge.
Also, many news organizations — including Just the News — have authenticated documents on the laptop from third parties with direct knowledge about the contents.
The laptop contents show Hunter Biden received some assistance from his father and aides on his Ukrainian and Chinese business deals while Joe Biden was vice president and intimated on more than one occasion that he gave money from his deals to his father.
They also show Hunter Biden's lawyers warned him when he first received a federal subpoena in 2016 that he had failed to pay taxes on large sums of money from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board he had served since 2014.
Those emails conflict with declarations Hunter and Joe Biden have made in public.
George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, did not return an email Thursday seeking comment.
Brian Della Rocca, a lawyer for Mac Isaac, said Barnes' findings vindicate his client, who last year was vilified in the news media and social media as everything from a Russian disinformation artist to a political dirty trickster.
"This just confirms what we have known for months," Della Rocca told Just the News. "Hopefully, those who refused to believe John Paul will now give him the credit he deserves. John Paul has always known that it was Hunter Biden who came into his shop on that fateful day, even if Hunter cannot remember."
In his report and interviews with Just the News, Barnes said signature matching provides much more information to authorities than just confirmation of who signed a document. It has been used for decades to assess the motives, psychology and intentions of foreign spies as well as con men, he noted.
In his report, Barnes offered some analysis on what Hunter Biden's signature might tell the FBI today. Barnes specifically noted the "R" and "B" in the signatures were larger and more pronounced than the "H" that stood for his middle name Hunter, which he has used as his main name in public for years,
"Whomever the R refers to in Hunter's mind, especially in comparison to his signature's middle initial H, the R-person is held in much more esteem than he has for himself," Barnes wrote. "Understand, if he were thinking of himself when signing his R and H, the two letters would be roughly identical in size, but they are far from it.
"So he has both the R-person and the B-person (his father) squeezing himself (his "H") in between them so his own persona, in his mind, is much smaller and deserves less height and less space," he added. "It is certainly some level of inferiority complex, in comparison to these two (R and B), even if we don't have clarity about who the R-person is. It is likely not a phantom in his mind, but all of the facts tell us he thinks more highly of this R-entity than he does of himself."
Barnes swept public files for instances of Hunter Biden's signature, and his report cited two examples of suspect signatures, ones that do not appear to be original or written spontaneously by Hunter Biden. One of those was on a Chinese business document, the other on a home document.
Barnes said both warrant further investigation to fully understand their origins. They could have been written by someone else, or digitally recreated, he noted.
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