Mar 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden sues laptop repair shop owner, alleging invasion of privacy

Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, speaking to former Senator Joe Lieberman during a White House ceremony in July 2022.

Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, speaking to former Senator Joe Lieberman during a White House ceremony in July 2022. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hunter Biden filed a countersuit in a federal court on Friday against the owner of a Delaware computer repair shop, claiming its owner had no legal right to distribute his private information.

Why it matters: It's the first lawsuit from Hunter Biden since the alleged theft of personal data from his laptop came to light.

  • It's an answer to a lawsuit from John Paul Mac Isaac, the shop owner, who is suing Hunter Biden, CNN, President Biden's 2016 presidential campaign and other entities.

The filing comes after Hunter Biden and his legal team sent letters to several allies of former President Trump to preserve records in their possession related to the alleged theft of personal data from the laptop.

  • His legal team also asked state and federal agencies to open criminal investigations into Trump's allies for accessing and spreading his personal data and threatened Fox News host Tucker Carlson with a defamation lawsuit.

What they're saying: In the filing, Hunter Biden and his lawyers accuse Mac Isaac of six counts related to invasion of privacy and seek a jury trial to determine if compensatory and punitive damages are warranted.

  • They also asked the court to order Mac Isaac to return any copy or partial copy of Hunter Biden's data.
  • Mac Isaac has claimed that he obtained the data because it was on a laptop Hunter Biden left behind at his store that went unclaimed 90 days after he finished servicing it.

Yes, but: Hunter Biden has never claimed the laptop was his, and the lawsuit also does not say he dropped the laptop off at Mac Isaac's store.

  • It does acknowledge that some of the data released publicly belongs to Hunter Biden and that Mac Isaac came into possession of it "by whatever means" in 2019.
  • It claims that even if Mac Isaac's claim is true that Hunter Biden dropped off his laptop and signed the authorization form, Delaware law would not have considered the property abandoned.
  • It also alleges that if the property had been formally abandoned, Mac Isaac would only have the right to claim the equipment and not the data stored on it.

The big picture: The lawsuit and legal threats from Hunter Biden come as Republicans on the House Oversight Committee prepare to launch investigations into him, President Biden and other members of the Biden family.

  • The committee has already held hearings over how social media platforms handled media reports on data reportedly from the laptop.

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