Does a new "X22 Report" video contain only factual and proven statements? No, that's not true: The video recycles familiar conspiracy theories, including disproven claims about a mass shooting and voter fraud in the 2020 election. It repeats allegations about Hunter Biden, Project Veritas and the ship stuck in the Suez Canal that are either not supported by publicly available evidence or mislead by omitting important context.
The video appeared as a Facebook post (archived here) published on March 24, 2021. The video, titled "X22 Report EP. 2435B - YOU ARE WATCHING A SHOW, MOVES & COUNTERMOVES, ESTABLISHMENT PANIC," opened:
Hi and welcome. You're listening to the X22 Report, my name is Dave ... Today's date is March 24, 2021, and the title of the episode is 'You Are Watching a Show, Moves and Countermoves, Establishment Panic.'
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Mar 26 15:16:37 2021 UTC)
This fact-check does not consider all the allegations made during the roughly 40-minute video. We look at five of the main claims, addressing them in the order that they appeared.
Claim #1: Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow's wife.
As support for this first claim, the video's narrator cites a report released by the Republican majority on the Senate Finance and Homeland Security committees during the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. You can read the full report here.
That report states, on page 5:
Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.
Later, on page 69, the Senate Republicans' report made clear the check went not to Biden but to a Hunter Biden-linked company, saying:
On Feb. 14, 2014, Baturina wired $3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC (Rosemont Seneca Thornton) bank account for a 'Consultancy Agreement DD12.02.2014.' Rosemont Seneca Thornton is an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden that was incorporated on May 28, 2013 in Wilmington, Del.
The narrator failed to mention that Biden's lawyer has cast doubt on those claims. George Mesires, the attorney, told CNN that Biden was not an owner of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, reportedly saying:
Hunter Biden had no interest in and was not a 'co-founder' of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, so the claim that he was paid $3.5 million is false.
PolitiFact also looked into the allegation that Biden received $3.5 million from the wife of Moscow's former mayor and found that the evidence was not sufficient to prove he got the money. You can read that fact-check here.
Claim #2: James O'Keefe "won a defamation lawsuit against The New York Times."
At the 13-minute mark, the narrator claimed:
We know that James O'Keefe, he won a defamation lawsuit against The New York Times.
O'Keefe has not. A judge denied the newspaper's motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by right-wing provocateur O'Keefe's Project Veritas. The ruling means the case can move forward. It does not mean the case is concluded and that O'Keefe "won."
New York Supreme Court Justice Charles D. Wood wrote:
The facts submitted by Veritas could indicate more than standard, garden variety media bias and support a plausible inference of actual malice. There is a substantial basis in law to proceed to permit the plaintiff to conduct discovery and to then attempt to meet its higher standard of proving liability through clear and convincing evidence of actual malice.
His order, dated March 18, 2021, makes clear the case continues.
Claim #3: The mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado was not real.
The narrator claimed that the shooting that took place March 22, 2021, at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, wasn't a "true shooting." At 17 minutes, 49 seconds, he said:
If this was a true shooting, people would be diving out of the way. They'd be too scared to stand in the doorway, looking at their phones while a shooting was going on.
The narrator spoke about the shooting, which left 10 people dead, in the context of efforts to push gun control. At 16 minutes, 45 seconds, he claimed:
They need more mass shootings to prove their case, so we're going to see a lot more happen right now.
Those allegations have been made by X22 Report before, and we covered them. See here for our previous story on why the shooting in Boulder was not a "false flag" operation. There is no evidence the shooting was faked nor that it was orchestrated by gun control advocates seeking to sway public opinion or push legislation. The suspect, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, has no known connection to lobbyists, politicians or the so-called deep state. Multiple independent outlets and law enforcement agencies have reported on real casualties of the shooting.
Claim #4: Widespread voter fraud took place during the 2020 election.
The narrator alleged that there's no way the reported results of the 2020 election are accurate. At 33 minutes, 19 seconds, he said:
[Donald] Trump had a sizable lead in Georgia, in Wisconsin, and then all a sudden everything was shut down, and they cheated.
At 34 minutes, 2 seconds, he added:
Even though they're telling us that he [Joe Biden] had 80 million people vote for him, it's completely impossible.
The narrator offered no proof for his claims, which match claims that have been repeatedly disproven. There is no publicly available evidence of widespread fraud, as Trump's Attorney General William Barr declared in a Fox News report here. Lead Stories has covered the issue extensively since the 2020 election, which was described by the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as the "most secure in American history." You can read the agency's statement here and see our stories on election fraud claims here.
Specifically, we've addressed allegations of cheating in Georgia and Wisconsin. See those stories here, here, here and here. Officials in both states have defended the integrity of the vote. A statement on the website of the secretary of the state in Michigan reads (emphasis is ours):
The bipartisan boards of county canvassers in all of Michigan's 83 counties, as well as the bipartisan board of state canvassers, certified the results of the general election. Each board is comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats. Michigan law provides the county canvassers 14 days to examine everything that transpired in the elections in jurisdictions in their counties, and then certify the results and election. The state board of canvassers subsequently must vote to certify all the county elections. If canvassers were to encounter any evidence of fraud, they would need to report it to law enforcement. No canvassers reported any fraud or other illegal activity occurred.
While Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said:
We have now counted legally cast ballots three times, and the results remain unchanged.
In addition to winning the Electoral College vote, Biden won the popular vote. He received 81,283,786 votes to Trump's 74,222,552.
Claim #5: The cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal has ties to Hillary Clinton.
Toward the end of the video, the narrator repeats several conspiracy theories about the contain ship Ever Given, stating them as fact. He says the ship's maritime call sign -- H3RC -- ties it to Hillary Clinton, whose initials are HRC. Also, her Secret Service code name was "Evergreen," which is the name of the ship's operator. The narrator said there are parallels between the ship and the plot of the 2002 film, "The Sum of All Fears," and a 2018 Q drop, the cryptic messages at the core of the QAnon conspiracy theory. At 37 minutes, 16 seconds, he asked:
I mean, is this a coincidence? I think not.
Despite his statement, the narrator offered no proof that what he reported wasn't just a string of coincidences, spun into a conspiratorial web. Lead Stories covered the claims about the ship in the Suez Canal in a March 25 fact check that found no publicly available evidence linking the vessel to Clinton.