Updated Nov 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden sues ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne for defamation

Hunter Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Hunter Biden sued former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne for defamation on Wednesday, alleging the Trump ally and 2020 election denier falsely linked him to last month's Hamas attacks on Israel.

Details: The lawsuit states that Byrne falsely claimed in a June article that Hunter Biden had contacted Tehran offering to have his father, President Biden, "'unfreeze $8 billion in Iranian funds" in return for $800 million "being funneled" into a bank account.

  • "To make matters much worse," the lawsuit alleges, Byrne reposted those "false and defamatory statements" linking Hunter Biden to Iran on X around Oct. 8, with the "clear implication" being that the president's son had "contributed to the terrorist attacks by Hamas" that led to the deaths of more than 1,400 innocent civilians.
  • "These defamatory statements by Byrne are not merely false and not merely malicious — they are completely outrageous," per the lawsuit, filed in a Los Angeles federal court.
  • "Byrne knows his statements are baseless and yet published and republished them anyway, and he continues to propagate his lies to anyone who will listen, including his hundreds of thousands of social media followers."

Of note: The lawsuit was filed on the same day that House Republicans subpoenaed Hunter Biden and the president's brother James Biden as part of their presidential impeachment inquiry into the Democratic leader.

The big picture: Hunter Biden has filed several lawsuits since Republicans launched investigations into his family.

  • In September, he accused the Internal Revenue Service in a lawsuit of illegally disclosing his tax information and sued Rudy Giuliani for allegedly sharing his private digital data.
  • In another September lawsuit, Hunter Biden accused former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler of "accessing, tampering with, manipulating, altering, copying and damaging computer data" after allegedly hacking his phone in violation of California's computer fraud laws.
  • Representatives for Byrne could not immediately be reached for comment.

Read Hunter Biden's complaint, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper: How the Hunter Biden investigations could impact 2024

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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