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The Biden administration faces a difficult decision early next year — whether to block the National Archives from releasing hundreds of Obama-era documents related to first son Hunter Biden and his relationship with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma while Joe Biden was vice president. 

The White House has been mum about whether it will invoke executive privilege to stop papers from becoming public Feb. 28, 2023, Insider reports. 

The records include 69 images and 260 email messages that mention Burisma and date back to 2014, when Hunter, now 52, had a lucrative seat on the company’s board — a shady relationship The Post exposed in a series of reports in October 2020.

The National Archives informed the Biden White House and the Obama Foundation in a Nov. 30 letter that it planned to release the records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request for vice presidential records created between May and December of 2014 that contain the word “Burisma,” Insider said. 

T​he letter said “several” of the emails involved media inquiries after it was revealed in 2014 that Hunter Biden ​would accept a seat on Burisma’s board, where he was paid as much as $83,333 a month even though he had no experience in energy issues.

President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The Biden administration won't say whether they will invoke executive privilege to keep emails between Hunter Biden and Burisma from being released.
President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The Biden administration won’t say whether it will invoke executive privilege to keep emails between Hunter Biden and Burisma from being released.
AP

T​he National Archives also said in the letter that another 22 emails were “restricted,” without saying why.

Draft documents that are ​”part of the deliberative or policy-making process”​ can be exempted from such requests, along with information that could violate a person’s privacy or expose trade secrets. 

​Under the Presidential Records Act, the legal teams representing the Biden and Obama administrations until the end of February to claim executive privilege before the emails are released.

If they decide to do so, the emails could remain sealed until January 2029 unless a court intervenes. 

An image of Hunter Biden from the laptop he left behind at a Delaware computer repair shop in 2019.
An image of Hunter Biden from the laptop he left behind at a Delaware computer repair shop in 2019.

The trove of emails could shed light on accusations by a number of Republican lawmakers that the president personally benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings.

Republicans have vowed to launch a series of investigations into the matter when they take control of the House in the new year. 

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the incoming chair the House Oversight Committee, told The Post that Republicans are prepared to pursue prosecution of the Bidens, depending on what the investigations reveal about Hunter Biden’s relationships in Ukraine and China. 

“If evidence justifies it, then we will have criminal referrals,” Comer​​ told The Post ​last week. ​

President Biden and Hunter Biden aboard a military plane.
President Biden and Hunter Biden aboard a military plane.

Mark Zaid, a national security lawyer who has represented several federal whistleblowers, told Insider that the legal grounds for the Biden administration to invoke executive privilege is shaky because many of the documents are already in the hands of a third party.

He also said the Biden White House would be taking a huge risk by withholding the information dealing with such a politically fraught and controversial situation.  

“Any selective invocation of privilege​, would no doubt only serve to highlight the sensitivities​,” he said. 

The National Archives told Insider that the Freedom of Information Act request was filed by America First Legal, a nonprofit group founded by former Trump administration official Stephen Miller. 

The computer repair shop in Delaware where Hunter Biden left his laptop in 2019.
The computer repair shop in Delaware where Hunter Biden left his laptop in 2019.
AFP via Getty Images

Along with the impending congressional probes, the Justice Department is examining Hunter Biden’s “tax affairs” — an effort that grew out of the investigation into whether the first son was violating money laundering laws in his overseas business dealings. 

Hunter is also the subject of an investigation about whether he lied about his drug use when he purchased a gun in late 2018 after an incident between him and his sister-in-law-turned-lover, Hallie Biden.

The Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden in October 2020 was based on information contained on the hard drive of a laptop computer he abandoned in 2019 at a computer repair shop in Delaware. ​

Twitter and other social media companies initially suppressed The Post’s reporting.

In recent weeks, Twitter owner Elon Musk has been releasing the company’s internal deliberations over the decision. 

America First Legal, a nonprofit founded by former Trump administration official Stephen Miller, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for emails containing the word "Burisma."
America First Legal, a nonprofit founded by former Trump administration official Stephen Miller, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for emails containing the word “Burisma.”
REUTERS

The series of reports, known as the “Twitter Files,” have revealed the steps a team of Twitter executives took to keep the public from viewing The Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden. 

A small group of top executives at the social media giant decided to label the story as “hacked material” without providing any evidence and without informing then CEO-Jack Dorsey. 

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