“We want you to know what your research and other programs accomplished. Your effort will go down in history. Your heroic actions saved countless lives,” Biden wrote to the university’s research group.
Biden learned his father’s secrets in the course of researching his coming memoir When Breath Becomes Air. He worked with Yahoo’s researchers in November 2017 to secure a Cobalt radio frequency-location signal that helped researchers confirm the escape of two Chinese sailors from their ship in 1991.
Hunter helped secure the family military secrets after the publisher of his memoir implored he show the company his source. The publisher invited the Bidens to a meeting at Yahoo’s headquarters with its chief technology officer David Filo, then ran a live auction for two seats on the plane flight with the senior vice president.
On the plane, the publisher offered the highest bid of $10,000, while Hunter’s parents raised the second most at $3,000. Hunter also raised the money as a part of his efforts to support the lab.
Todd, who’s written for Reuters and other media since leaving Yahoo, said most of the material was “fairly mundane” and came after he and Biden found more than 200,000 pages of documents on the Bidens in their hours. Among them were hundreds of pages turned over by Biden’s widow, Jill, and nearly 20,000 pages of paper that the Bidens turned over voluntarily.
“Every week or so, we had some emails, these stubby pieces of paper,” Todd said. “Sometimes, it was a handwritten note. People would pull a particular piece of paper out and immediately recall certain conversations.”
The Obamas were also involved in tracking down the best ways to protect the Bidens’ personal files while assisting the university’s research group, Todd said.