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Hunter Biden files lawsuit against repair shop owner who released his information

By Sarah May
|
March 18, 2023

Firing back after a defamation suit was filed by Delaware computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac last year, first son Hunter Biden has just initiated a countersuit alleging that his privacy was invaded by the viewing and subsequent release of the contents on the now-infamous laptop abandoned at the shop back in 2019, as Politico reports.

According to the countersuit filing, “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.”

Hunter Biden countersues over laptop

In a 42-page filing, Biden's lawyers level a series of accusations against Mac Isaac regarding the bombshell of the often-sordid contents of the device their client dropped off for repair and never reclaimed.

Biden's camp contends that Mac Isaac was irresponsible in his handling of the data recovered from the laptop, saying, “Reputable computer companies and repair people routinely delete personal data contained on devices that are exchanged, left behind or abandoned. They do not open, copy, and then provide that data to others, as Mac Isaac did here.”

The filing contends, “Mac Isaac knowingly and willfully shared with others the personal data of Mr. Biden that he came to possess (regardless of how he came to possess the data), despite it being reckless and unreasonable for any computer repairman to make copies of another's personal and sensitive information and to then send that data to third parties without the authority to do so.”

Attorneys for Biden did not admit that their client left the computer at Mac Isaac's shop – which the computer repairman says occurred – but suggested merely that Mac Isaac somehow obtained “electronically stored data, some of which belonged to Mr. Biden.”

Defamation suit continues

It was in October of last year that Mac Isaac filed suit against Biden, his father's presidential campaign committee, and others alleging defamation, civil conspiracy, and civil aiding and abetting related to the laptop controversy, as The Federalist reported at the time.

Mac Isaac's complaint alleged that despite Hunter Biden's claims of uncertainty and ignorance regarding ownership of the laptop, the first son knowingly left the computer at his repair shop yet later “knowingly broadcast the false and defamatory information about his laptop to third parties.”

Defendants in the complaint are also accused of having imputed that Mac Isaac was “involved in one or more crimes, including, theft of his laptop, hacking of his laptop, or being part of a plot by Russian intelligence.”

Mac Isaac has consistently maintained that he had the right to view and disseminate the laptop's contents as he saw fit because Biden had signed a form stating that any equipment not picked up within 90 days after the completion of service is deemed abandoned and would become the property of the store owner.

“One of the weirdest filings”

Reacting to Hunter Biden's countersuit on Friday was George Washington University Law School professor and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley who deemed it “one of the weirdest filings I have read in some time.”

Part of the reasoning behind that assessment, according to Turley, is the fact that Biden is “telling the court this may or may not be my laptop and these files may or may not be my file, but I am egregiously injured by the invasion of my privacy.”

Turley recalled that Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, seemingly acknowledged his client's ownership of the laptop back in February, when he demanded that the Justice Department launch probes of several prominent figures involved in publicizing the computer's salacious and arguably damning contents.

The noted legal scholar also took to social media to comment on the filing, saying, “This is a rather curious countersuit. Hunter left his computer with a third party, refused repeated request to retrieve [it], and agreed that he would lose all claim to the files if abandoned. Now, years later, he is objecting vehemently that his privacy was not protected.”

Others weigh in

Conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza opined on the countersuit Friday in a Truth Social post, asking, “Since #HunterBiden is suing the computer repairman for violating his privacy in sharing the contents of the laptop, what does that tell you about the authenticity of the laptop?”

Newsweek quoted New York attorney Andrew Lieb, who questioned the wisdom of Hunter Biden's legal team's ongoing strategic whipsawing with regard to ownership of the computer.

“Hunter Biden is now admitting that it's been his laptop all along. Perhaps the key to Hunter's lawsuit is that he is seeking the return of any data that was taken from the laptop and this lawsuit will let him have discovery rights to identify who has that data,” Lieb said.

Suggesting that there may be merit to that particular legal tactic, Lieb added, “it is also a reminder that litigants should always set their full legal strategy at the beginning rather than erratically reacting throughout a lawsuit so that they don't lose their credibility when they change their position later.”