In response to a defamation lawsuit initiated by the Delaware-based computer repairman who they allege was the cause of the iconic laptop controversy in the weeks preceding the 2020 presidential election, Hunter Biden’s lawyers submitted his answer and counterclaims citing invasion of privacy.
The move marks a significant uptick in the younger Biden’s increasingly assertive legal strategy against some of his most outspoken detractors and those who are accused of trafficking his personal information.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Delaware and is directed at John Paul Mac Isaac, a computer repairman who is believed to have obtained and then shared data from a laptop that was supposedly owned by the president’s son in April 2019. The counterclaim is in response to an ongoing defamation action Mac Isaac filed in October 2019 against Hunter Biden and others.
“[Hunter] Biden had more than a reasonable expectation of privacy that any data that he created or kept … would not be accessed, copied, disseminated, or placed on the Internet for others to exploit against him or his family or for the public to view,” according to the countersuit.
Hunter Biden’s legal team disputed Mac Isaac’s assertion that the laptop and an external hard drive were turned over to him when Hunter Biden failed to pick them up within 90 days of leaving them at the repairman’s Wilmington, Delaware, shop for maintenance. They did this by pointing to the small print of a repair order that Hunter Biden is said to have signed at the time.
Contrary to what Mac Isaac’s Repair Permission form states, tangible personal property in Delaware is declared abandoned when the lawful owner fails to “claim or declare property rights to the property for a period of one year,” according to legal documents from Biden’s team.
“Other responsibilities must also also be completed before gaining legitimate title,” the complaint continues, “such as the court delivering notice to the owner and the petitioner posting notice in five or more public locations, and publicizing the petition in a newspaper.”
Hunter Biden is suing Mac Isaac for an undefined amount of “compensatory damages” and a jury trial. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by a Mac Isaac lawyer.
The younger Biden, who up until recently had generally avoided public conflicts regarding his financial transactions, has taken an increasingly confrontational legal stance with Friday’s complaint.
Hunter Biden’s reorganized legal team, under the direction of renowned criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell, has issued a flurry of cease-and-desist letters and threatened legal action against some of his most outspoken detractors, including Mac Isaac, in recent months.
In the final weeks of the 2020 presidential campaign, when images, emails, and text messages purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden surfaced in public and sparked the nation’s conversation as voters went to the polls, the computer repairman emerged as a central figure in the drama surrounding Biden’s laptop.
Hunter Biden visited Mac Isaac’s computer repair business on April 12, 2019, with three broken devices, according to the statements provided by Mac Isaac and his attorney, and inquired about the possibility of data recovery. Hunter Biden was instructed to come back to the store a few days later to pick up the gadgets and pay a $85 service fee, according to Mac Isaac. Hunter Biden allegedly never responded to Mac Isaac, and the bill was never paid.
According to Mac Isaac and his lawyer, the abandoned laptop passed into Mac Isaac’s possession after 90 days in accordance with the work order contract that Hunter Biden supposedly signed when he initially went to Mac Isaac’s store.
Mac After giving the laptop and external hard drive to the FBI in December 2019, Isaac attempted to share information from the devices with Rudy Giuliani, personal counsel to then-President Donald Trump. Giuliani then made the information on the devices available to other Trump supporters and some media outlets in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election.
Together with Rep. Adam Schiff, Politico, and CNN, Mac Isaac first filed a slander lawsuit against Hunter Biden in a Delaware state court. The matter was transferred to the U.S. District Court in Delaware earlier this month, where Hunter Biden submitted his suit.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers refuted Mac Isaac’s assertion that he handled the data discovered on the laptop and hard drive in a legal and responsible manner in their countersuit.
“Reputable computer companies and repair professionals typically destroy personal data included on devices that are swapped, left behind or abandoned,” the lawyers stated. They don’t open, copy, and then give that information to other people like Mac Isaac did in this case.