Hunter Biden has countersued a Delaware-based computer repairman, alleging that John Paul Mac Isaac violated his privacy by accessing and disseminating data held in Biden’s laptop.
Biden’s attorneys filed the suit in response to a lawsuit Mac Isaac filed against Biden in late January, according to ABC News. Mac Isaac sued Biden for defamation, claiming that the son of the U.S. president unfairly and illegally targeted Mac Isaac and damaged his reputation for years with repeated claims that a laptop Biden left at Mac Isaac’s repair store could have been stolen or hacked.
Biden’s 42-page suit, filed on Friday, describes how the laptop became the center of a series of stories beginning in October 2020 about Biden’s life and overseas business dealings in countries such as Ukraine and China. The laptop is now a key component of House Republicans’ investigations into President Joe Biden.
“[Hunter] Biden had more than a reasonable expectation of privacy that any data that he created or maintained … would not be accessed, copied, disseminated, or posted on the Internet for others to use against him or his family or for the public to view,” Biden’s suit says.
“As a result of Mac Isaac’s unlawful agreement and his conspiracy with others, Mr. Biden’s personal data was made available to third parties and then ultimately to the public at large, which is highly offensive, causing harm to Mr. Biden and his reputation,” the suit says, according to The Washington Post. “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.”
Mac Isaac has challenged Biden’s claims, saying that after Biden failed to retrieve the laptop from the repair shop he forfeited possession of it and all its contents. Biden had agreed to terms that if he failed to return in 90 days to retrieve the laptop, the computer would be considered abandoned.
“Contrary to Mac Isaac’s Repair Authorization form, Delaware law provides that tangible personal property is deemed abandoned” only when the owner has failed to “assert or declare property rights to the property for a period of 1 year,” Biden’s suit states, according to the ABC News.
Biden’s lawsuit shows an increasingly adversarial legal strategy his legal team has taken in the wake of the data from that laptop, left at Mac Isaac’s computer repair store in 2019 and never recovered, being released to the public. On February 1, one of Biden’s attorneys asked the Justice Department to consider criminal investigations of allies of former President Donald Trump who shared the laptop’s data.