A new Hunter Biden lawsuit against the owner of a computer store that gained notoriety before and after the 2020 presidential election is drawing more questions from Republicans.
The 42-page counterclaim lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Delaware alleges that John Paul Mac Isaac, owner of the Mac Shop business, accessed and used Biden’s information without legal permission and also distributed it. Mac Isaac is accused of six counts, including invasion of privacy, conspiracy to invade privacy, and aiding and abetting an invasion of privacy.
Biden’s lawsuit is in response to a $1.5 million suit filed by Mac Isaac against POLITICO, CNN, Hunter Biden, Democratic Representative Adam Schiff and the Biden presidential campaign committee for alleged defamation and civil conspiracy. Schiff was removed from the lawsuit this month.
Biden’s laptop gained infamy one month prior to the 2020 election as part of a New York Post story stating that a man who identified himself as Hunter Biden had gone into Mac Isaac’s shop to drop off the computer. Mac Isaac reportedly saved the laptop’s contents before passing it on to the FBI.
Former President Donald Trump has said that the supposed suppression of the story helped Hunter’s father, President Joe Biden, in the election.
World Food Program USA Board Chair Hunter Biden speaks during the WFP USA’s 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at the Organization of American States on April 12, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Biden filed a countersuit on Friday regarding his laptop that garnered plenty of attention around the 2020 election, claiming its contents were illegally accessed and disseminated. Kris Connor/WireImage
“Mac Isaac intended and knew, or clearly should have known, that people to whom he provided the data that he believed to belong to Mr. Biden would use it against then-candidate Joseph Biden and to assist then-President Trump,” lawyers wrote in the filing part of the civil case.
Attorney Jonathan Turley called Hunter Biden’s suit “part of a new scorched earth strategy.”
“This is rather a curious countersuit,” Turley tweeted. “Hunter left his computer with a third party, refused repeated request to retrieve them, 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.”
Countersuit and larger GOP investigation
Robert Costello, Rudy Giuliani‘s attorney, said he had an original copy of Biden’s hard drive and passed along details to Giuliani, who in turn fed information to the New York Post and led to additional stories.
Biden’s lawyers said in the filing that on or before April 2019, Mac Isaac “by whatever means came into possession of certain electronically stored data, at least some of which belonged to Biden.”
While Mac Isaac claimed under a repair authorization form allegedly signed by Biden that any equipment left after 90 days belonged to the business, Biden’s lawyers argued that based on Delaware law, property is deemed abandoned after a period of one year.
They also argue that Mac Isaac contradicted his statements with what he wrote in his book released in 2022, that “he admits in his recently published book and in other media appearances that he actually began accessing what he claims he had in his possession as Mr. Biden’s data long before 90 days had expired from when he claims any property or data was left in his shop.”
Ronald Poliquin, a lawyer for Mac Isaac, told Newsweek that he is still reviewing Biden’s claims and will “respond appropriately” in court.
A member of Biden’s legal team told Newsweek that the court filing was accompanied by a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika, saying that Hunter Biden “intends to seek the deposition of several out-of-state witnesses who are relevant to and/or intimately familiar with the conduct underpinning the claims and counterclaims in this litigation.”
The witness list includes Mac Isaac, Keith Ablow, Yaacov Apelbaum, Steve Bannon, Bradley Birkenfeld, Costello, Giuliani, Jack Maxey, Guo Wengui and Garrett Ziegler. Letters sent to seven of those individuals were shared with Newsweek.
Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s attorney, originally sent letters in February, demanding for the preservation of evidence that might be relevant to the lawsuit.
No further comment was provided.
The court filing comes one day after the Republican-led House Oversight Committee shared what it called “new evidence” potentially implicating Hunter Biden and his siblings.
A Biden family associate allegedly received $3 million from a Chinese company and later distributed the funds to Hunter, Hallie and James Biden Sr. The information came following a subpoena issued by the Republicans on the committee to the Treasury Department.
The findings were discredited by Democratic Ranking Member Jamie Raskin, who told Newsweek that Republicans stayed mum about $2 billion investments made to Jared Kushner, former President Trump’s son-in-law.
“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?” conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza wrote on Truth Social on Friday.
New York-based attorney Andrew Lieb said that while the Biden claim seems to have merit, he wonders why he is adjusting his strategy following previous denials that the laptop even belonged to him.
“Hunter Biden is now admitting that it’s been his laptop all along,” Lieb told Newsweek. “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.
“The lawsuit is the right legal tactic now, but 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.”