Hunter Biden sues Giuliani, lawyer over alleged illegal use of computer data
Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani for allegedly participating in the “total annihilation” of his digital privacy by hacking and manipulating data from his purported laptop, as he steps up a litigation effort in the wake of his indictment.
Giuliani and lawyer Robert Costello, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, illegally accessed a copy of a hard drive that President Joe Biden’s son allegedly left at a Delaware repair shop and tampered with the data for financial gain, according to the suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles.
“For the past many months and even years, Defendants have dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy toward looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from Plaintiff’s devices or storage platforms,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit comes as Hunter Biden is fighting federal gun charges and awaiting possible tax charges after a plea deal fell apart, casting a cloud over his father’s bid for re-election. Hunter Biden has fought back in court, suing the U.S. Internal Revenue Service over the disclosure of his tax information by two employees. Earlier this year he sued the repair shop owner.
In Tuesday’s suit, he claims Costello violated California law by using Hunter Biden’s user name to access an external hard drive he obtained from the repair shop owner, who said it contained “hundreds of gigabytes of Plaintiff’s personal data.” He claims Giuliani “has not only admitted but bragged about downloading data from Plaintiff’s ‘laptop’ (even though he only had a hard drive) onto his own computer.”
Costello and a spokesman for Giuliani didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the suit.
Giuliani has also been sued by Costello’s firm for unpaid legal fees and found liable for defaming two Georgia election workers he falsely accused of rigging the vote against Trump. He is also facing criminal charges. The former New York City mayor, who represented Donald Trump in legal challenges to the result of the 2020 election, was indicted in Georgia for allegedly conspiring to keep Trump in office after he lost the contest to Joe Biden. He has denied wrongdoing in all the cases.
In his suit, Hunter Biden seeks unspecified monetary damages from Giuliani and Costello as well as the return of any financial benefits they obtained from the allegedly unlawful conduct. He is also asking for a court order requiring Giuliani to return the data to him and barring him from tampering with it.
Hunter Biden maintains in a footnote that the suit “is not an admission” that the repair shop owner possessed “any particular laptop containing electronically stored data belonging to Plaintiff,” though he acknowledges that some of the data is his.
Still, he argues, it was “manipulated, altered and damaged before it was copied and sent to Defendants; and Defendants’ illegal hacking and tampering has involved further alterations and damage.”
The case is Biden v. Giuliani, 23-cv-08032, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
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