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    Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    Hunter Biden sues repair shop owner over handling of laptop

    Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, boards Air Force One with the president, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, N.Y. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    WASHINGTON — Hunter Biden is suing the owner of a computer repair shop where he allegedly dropped off his infamous laptop, claiming the man improperly copied and helped disseminate his personal data.

    The suit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Delaware is a response to a defamation action that the shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, launched in January against Biden, Rep. Adam Schiff, CNN, Politico and The Daily Beast.

    Isaac had asserted, among other things, that Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, and others have wrongly suggested he was a participant in a Russian effort to undermine American democracy and the 2020 presidential election.

    But the younger Biden’s lawyers, led by Washington attorney Abbe Lowell, are firing back.

    They argue it is Isaac who committed wrongdoing in allegedly accessing and sharing data belonging to Biden “without any authority or permission to do so.”

    They are seeking a jury trial on what they say were violations of Delaware common law, including invasion of privacy, by the obtaining of “private and confidential information and content, including sensitive and private photographs and video of Mr. Biden.”

    A central issue is the circulation of files from the computer that the president’s son reportedly left in a Delaware computer shop in 2019, and whether Isaac shared material with others, including allies of then-President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani.

    Biden’s lawyers continue to stop short of acknowledging if the laptop was actually his. “This is not an admission by Mr. Biden that Mac Isaac (or others) in fact possessed any particular laptop containing electronically stored data belonging to Mr. Biden. Rather, Mr. Biden simply acknowledges that at some point, Mac Isaac obtained electronically stored data, some of which belonged to Mr. Biden.”

    No matter how Isaac and others came into initial possession of the stored data, Isaac improperly accessed, copied and shared the files, the counter-claim asserts.

    Separately, Biden’s lawyers on Friday notified Judge Maryellen Noreika of Federal District Court in Delaware they intend to question under oath Giuliani, Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, another former Trump adviser, Stephen Bannon, and others as part of this legal action.

    The laptop came to the public’s attention toward the end of the 2020 presidential campaign when The New York Post reported on emails related to Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings it said were found on the computer. Trump used the report against Joe Biden in the final days of Trump's failed run for a second term.

    This legal back-and-forth between Hunter Biden and Isaac comes as the GOP-led House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has been investigating the international business transactions of the president’s son and other relatives of the president. On Friday, committee chairman James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, announced the panel is requesting that John R. Walker, an associate of Hunter Biden’s, appear for a transcribed interview.

    Comer earlier this week released a memo stating that from 2015 to 2017, Hunter Biden, other family members of the president, and their companies, collectively received more than $1.3 million in payments from accounts related to Walker. Most of those payments came after Walker received a $3 million wire from a Chinese energy company, the memo states.

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