The New York Post’s front page article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday was mostly written by an employee reporter who refused to put his name on it, said two employees of the Post.
Bruce Golding, a reporter on the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid since 2007, did not allow his byline to be used because he was concerned about the article’s credibility, the two postmen said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
Coming late in a furious presidential campaign, the article suggested that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had used his position to enrich his son Hunter when he was vice president. The post based the story on photos and documents that the paper said it had taken from the hard drive of a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden.
The article cited two sources: Stephen K. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump who is now facing federal charges of fraud, said to have made the paper aware of the hard drive last month; and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, who is said to have given the paper “a copy” of the hard drive on Oct. 11.
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Sir. Giuliani said he chose the Post because “either no one else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could trying to contradict it before knocking it out.”
Top editors met on October 11 to discuss how to use the material provided by Mr. Giuliani. The group included tabloid veteran Colin Allan, known as Col; Stephen Lynch, editor-in-chief; and Michelle Gotthelf, the digital editor-in-chief, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Allan, who was editor-in-chief of the Post from 2001 to 2016 and returned last year as an adviser, urged his colleagues to move quickly, the person said.
As the deadline approached, editors pressured employees to add their bylines to the story – and at least one other than Mr. Golding refused, two Post reporters said. A spokeswoman for Post had no comment on how the article was written or edited.
The headline “BIDEN SECRET E-MAILS”, the article appeared on Wednesday with two lines: Emma-Jo Morris, a deputy political editor who took office after four years in the Murdoch-owned Fox News, and Gabrielle Fonrouge, a reporter from Post since 2014 .
Mrs Morris did not have a translated article in The Post until Wednesday, a search of its website showed. She arrived on the tabloid in April after working as an associate producer on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her Instagram account, which was set to go private Wednesday, contained photos of her posing with former Trump administration members Mr. Bannon and Sarah Huckabee Sanders as well as Roger J. Stone Jr., a friend and former campaign adviser to Mr. Trump. (In July, the president reversed Mr. Stone’s conviction of seven crimes.)
Ms Fonrouge had little to do with the reporting or writing of the article, said three people with knowledge of how it was prepared. She learned that her byline was only on the story after it was published, people said.
The article was based on documents allegedly taken from the hard drive to suggest that the elder Mr. Biden, as vice president, had instructed U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine for the benefit of his son, a former board member of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company.
The article also suggested that the eldest Mr. Biden had met a Burisma adviser, Vadym Pozharskyi. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Biden campaign said that Mr. The bid’s official schedules showed no meeting between the former vice president and the adviser. Last month, two Republican-clad Senate committees investigating the case said they had found no evidence of the former vice president’s offense.
“The senior editors of The Post decided to publish the Biden files after several days of hard work determined their profits,” Allan said in an email.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have reported that they could not independently verify the data in the Post article, which included cover language, referring at one point to an email “allegedly sent” to Hunter Biden.
“The story was investigated and The Post stands by its reporting,” a spokeswoman for the Post said in a statement.
Kenneth P. Vogel contributed with reporting.