Hunter Biden files response against computer repair shop owner
Hunter Biden has filed a countersuit against a computer repair shop owner, alleging invasion of privacy in response to an ongoing defamation suit filed by the shop owner last year. The suit marks Biden’s first legal filing since his laptop has become a point of interest.
In the 42-page legal filing Friday morning, attorneys for Biden assert six counterclaims, alleging that computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac had no legal right to obtain and distribute data from Biden’s laptop, an issue that became central in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election. Images, emails and text messages that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden later became public.
“The object of invading Mr. Biden’s privacy and disseminating his data was not for any legitimate purpose but to cause harm and embarrassment to Mr. Biden,” the filing reads.
Mac Isaac claims the laptop and external hard drive became his property in 2019 when Biden didn’t retrieve the items within 90 days after leaving them at the shop, which attorneys for Biden are challenging. The repair shop owner claims Biden defamed him by saying he had illegally accessed the data.
Attorneys for Biden claimed that Mac Isaac did not act responsibly with the data found on the laptop and hard drive.
”Reputable computer companies and repair people routinely delete personal data contained on devices that are exchanged, left behind or abandoned,” the filing reads. ”They do not open, copy, and then provide that data to others, as Mac Isaac did here.”
Mac Isaac turned the laptop and external hard drive over to the FBI in 2019 and attempted to share the information from the devices with former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Biden’s lawyers are also seeking depositions from Steve Bannon and Giuliani in the suit.
Biden doesn’t confirm in the filing that the laptop is his. “Mr. Biden is without knowledge sufficient to admit or deny the allegations,” the filing states.
The data from the laptop became a point of interest after stories were published by the New York Post before the 2020 election.
POLITICO has not authenticated the Biden hard drive files that underpinned an October 2020 New York Post story, but POLITICO reporter Ben Schreckinger confirmed the authenticity of some emails on the drive in a 2021 book.
Last year, Mac Isaac sued POLITICO, CNN, Hunter Biden, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the Biden presidential campaign committee for defamation and civil conspiracy in state court in Delaware. Earlier this month, the federal government stepped in for Schiff and removed the case to federal court in Wilmington, arguing that the suit pertains to acts he took in his official capacity as a member of Congress.
Friday's filing comes as Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, prepares an investigation into Biden. The suit is also part of a broader campaign of legal pushback from Biden's attorneys, warning those involved in publicizing assertions about his laptop computer that they could face unspecified litigation over their claims.
The Justice Department is reported to be in the final stages of deciding whether to bring criminal charges against Hunter Biden in connection with alleged tax offenses and his alleged failure to disclose his status as a drug user when applying to buy a handgun in 2018.