Jan 17, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden laptop saga revived by Biden's Justice Department

Photo: Kent Nishimura via Getty Images

For the first time, the Justice Department has confirmed that they took possession of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden from a computer shop.

Why it matters: The new filing by special counsel David Weiss, which includes several embarrassing revelations, is the latest example of the increasingly antagonistic relationship between Hunter's team and his father's Justice Department in the months after a proposed plea deal unraveled last summer.

Zoom in: In the filing, Weiss wrote that in September 2019 Apple provided digital backups of Hunter's data in response to a search warrant and the laptop was "largely duplicative of information investigators had already obtained from Apple investigators had already."

  • Hunter's lawyers have not said the president's son ever left behind a laptop, but have acknowledged that Mac Isaac and Rudy Giuliani accessed and disseminated his digital data in the final weeks of the 2020 election.
  • "At least some of the data that Defendants obtained, copied, and proceeded to hack into and tamper with belongs to Plaintiff," Hunter's lawyer's wrote in a lawsuit last fall suing Giuliani.
  • Brian Della Rocca, a lawyer for Mac Isaac, told Axios that "this 'revelation' comes as no surprise to us and to the many onlookers who refuse to accept everything Hunter says as gospel. John Paul has always been credible, Hunter has not. However, people will only believe what they want to believe."
  • Spokespeople for the Justice Department and Hunter's lawyer Abbe Lowell did not respond to a request for comment.

Zoom out: Hunter's discarded laptop, and whether it exists, is a controversial topic because it came to light in the final weeks of the election when a hard drive ultimately made its way to The New York Post.

  • Trump supporters mined the hard drive, including its personal contents, and published them across the internet.
  • In 2023, a Republican member of Congress brandished a pornographic photo of Hunter Biden, obtained from the laptop's hard drive, at a congressional hearing.
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