Hunter Biden seeks federal probe of Trump allies over laptop
WASHINGTON (AP) — An attorney for President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has asked the Justice Department to investigate close allies of former President Donald Trump and others he says accessed and disseminated personal information from a laptop have that was filed at a Delaware computer workshop 2019.
In a separate letter, Biden’s attorneys have also asked Fox News host Tucker Carlson to back down and apologize for the allegedly false and defamatory claims that have been repeatedly made about him on the air, including implying, without evidence, that he was unauthorized Had access to secret documents found at his father’s house.
The request for a criminal investigation, which comes as Hunter Biden faces his own tax evasion investigation by the Justice Department, does not mean federal prosecutors will open an investigation or take any other action. Still, it represents a concerted shift in strategy and a rare public response from the younger Biden and his legal team to years of attacks from Republican officials and conservative media, scrutiny of which is expected to continue after the GOP takes over the house.
It also represents the latest salvo in the long-running laptop saga, which began with a New York Post story in October 2020 detailing some of the emails allegedly found on the device related to Hunter’s overseas operations Biden were found. It was quickly picked up by Trump as a campaign issue during this year’s presidential election.
The letter, signed by prominent Washington attorney Abbe Lowell, calls for an investigation into former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, Trump’s longtime attorney Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani’s own attorney and Wilmington computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac, who said so, among others Hunter Biden dropped off a laptop at his store in April 2019 and never returned to pick it up.
The letter cites passages from Mac Isaac’s book in which he admitted reviewing private and sensitive material from Biden’s laptop, including a file titled “income.pdf.” It notes that Mac Isaac sent a copy of the laptop data to Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, who in turn shared it with Giuliani, a close Trump ally who was at the time promoting discredited theories about the younger Biden.
Giuliani passed the information on to a reporter from the New York Post, who first wrote about the laptop, and also to Bannon, according to the letter. Hunter Biden has never consented to having his personal information accessed or shared in this way, his attorney says.
“This failed dirty political ploy led directly to the disclosure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” the letter said, adding, “Politicians and the news media have unlawfully accessed, copied, disseminated, and manipulated data in order to… distorting the truth and harming Mr. Biden.”
Mac Isaac declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press on Wednesday night. Costello, asked to comment for him and Giuliani, called the letter “a frivolous legal document” and said it “smells of desperation because they know judgment day is coming for the Bidens.”
An attorney who represented Bannon at a Washington, DC trial last year did not immediately respond to a call for comment. A Fox News representative had no immediate comment.
The letter to the Justice Department was addressed to its Chief National Security Officer, Matthew Olsen. It identifies possible violations of laws prohibiting unauthorized access to a computer or stored electronic communications, as well as the transportation of stolen data across state lines and the release of restricted personally identifiable information with intent to intimidate or threaten.
She also urges prosecutors to investigate whether data has been tampered with or tampered with in any way.
“The acts described above merit more than a full investigation and may warrant prosecution under various statutes depending on the facts found. It is not common for a private individual and his attorney to seek another person to investigate, but the actions and motives here warrant it.” Lowell wrote in the letter.
A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment.
Separate letters requesting investigations were also sent to the Delaware Attorney General’s office and the Internal Revenue Service. Speakers there did not immediately respond to emails asking for comment.
Associated Press writer David Bauder in New York contributed to this report.
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