Hunter Biden’s attorneys on Wednesday called on state and federal agencies to investigate computer repair shop owner Rudy Giuliani and a number of right-wing political figures involved in distributing content from his laptop, alleging they had at theirs Efforts committed computer and other criminal violations to “weaponize” the contents of the laptop against his father.
The allegations, made in letters to the Delaware Attorney General, the Justice Department’s National Security Division and the IRS, mark the first time that President Joe Biden’s son and his legal team have publicly acknowledged that his personal information was allegedly stored on a laptop found were left at the repair shop in Delaware. However, his legal team said their new reach does not confirm the right-wing laptop narrative.
The letters signal a significant shift in strategy from Hunter Biden after he hired new attorneys to defend him against an onslaught of attacks from Republicans who have tried to use his personal struggles with drugs and congressional investigations into his business dealings to attack the president. Hunter Biden also faces an ongoing federal criminal investigation focused on taxes and other issues.
In addition to the letters to government agencies, Biden’s attorneys on Wednesday sent a cease and desist letter to Fox News and the network’s host Tucker Carlson, demanding the retraction of a story aired on Carlson’s show that Biden’s team believes is false. CNN has reached out to Fox News for comment.
In the letter to Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, Hunter Biden’s attorneys accuse computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac of gaining unauthorized access to the laptop and distributing its contents to the New York Post for a story caught in the was released weeks before the 2020 election. Mac Isaac said in a memoir and media interviews that he received the laptop at his Hunter Biden store in 2019.
“This failed dirty political trick led directly to the disclosure, exploitation and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information. Mr. Mac Isaac’s willful, reckless and unlawful conduct enabled hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden’s personal information to be leaked across the Internet without discretion,” Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, wrote in the letter.
The letter requests investigations into Garrett Ziegler, John Paul Mac Isaac, Robert Costello, Rudy Giuliani and Stephen Bannon.
Mac Isaac’s attorney, Brian R. Della Rocca, acknowledged receipt of the letter and said after scanning it, all he saw was “a privileged person hiring another high-priced attorney to divert attention from his own illegal activities.” Costello called it a “legally untrustworthy document” and accused Biden’s new legal team of trying to intimidate people. A communications consultant for Giuliani, Ted Goodman, called the letters an “apparent attempt at silence.” CNN has reached out to each of the other individuals or their attorneys for comment.
The Justice Department declined to comment, and CNN has also reached out to the IRS and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office.
In the years since the laptop’s existence first became public, Hunter Biden has attempted to cast doubt on the origin of his personal information, which he claims came from the laptop. It appears to contain a vast trove of information, including business documents, emails, and photos, among other things, including some potentially suggestive materials.
“There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me,” Hunter Biden said in a 2021 CBS interview while promoting his memoir. “It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the – that it was the Russian secret service. It could have been stolen from me.”
On Wednesday, Lowell, Biden’s attorney, said the new letters from Biden’s team “do not corroborate versions of a so-called laptop by Mac Isaac or others.”
“They are addressing their behavior of allegedly seeking, manipulating and disseminating Mr. Biden’s personal information wherever they claim to have obtained it,” Lowell said in a statement to CNN.
Mac Isaac said he purchased the laptop in April 2019 when Hunter Biden took the laptop to his shop for repairs.
Biden signed a contract with Mac Isaac that included a policy stating that if the laptop wasn’t picked up within 90 days, it would become Mac Isaac’s property, according to the workshop owner’s book. Mac Isaac writes that Biden never came back for the laptop.
But by his own admission, Mac Isaac said he reviewed files on Hunter Biden’s laptop the day after the handover. In his book, Mac Isaac said the day after Hunter Biden turned in the laptop, he noticed a file titled “income.pdf” on the hard drive that appeared to be tracking Biden’s finances.
According to Mac Isaac, on December 9, 2019, FBI agents served a subpoena and confiscated the laptop.
According to Robert Costello, Giuliani’s attorney, a copy of the hard drive was sent to one of Giuliani’s company addresses in late August or early September 2020. Giuliani eventually mailed a copy of the hard drive to the New York Post.
Giuliani told The Wall Street Journal in October 2020 that he had “all rights to use” the hard drive.
A research group led by Garrett Ziegler, a former aide to Trump’s White House aide Peter Navarro, released emails and documents purportedly from Hunter’s laptop to a public-facing website. According to Politico, Ziegler said he received the copy of the laptop from Giuliani and Bernard Kerik, the former New York City Police Commissioner and Giuliani associate.
On the website where Ziegler’s group Marco Polo posted the alleged contents of the laptop, a disclaimer reads: “Marco Polo testifies that the contents of the Biden laptop were abandoned property.”
In the April 2021 CBS interview, Hunter Biden said he had “no idea whether” the laptop was his or not, but said it was possible. When asked if he ever dropped his laptop to have it repaired in Delaware, Hunter Biden said he didn’t.
“Not that I can even remember,” he added.
This story has been updated with additional details.