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Igor Derysh

Hunter Biden tries to turn tables on GOP

Hunter Biden's legal team is trying to turn the tables on his Republican critics, calling for an investigation into his stolen laptop and firing off cease-and-desist letters to Fox News.

Biden's lawyers on Wednesday sent letters to the Justice Department's National Security Division and the Delaware attorney general's office calling for an investigation into "individuals for whom there is considerable reason to believe violated various federal laws in accessing, copying, manipulating, and/or disseminating Mr. Biden's personal computer data," including former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, and other allies of the former president, according to NBC News.

The letters also called for an investigation into John Paul Mac Isaac, the Delaware computer repair shop owner who said that Biden left his laptop and never retrieved it.

"Mr. Mac Isaac chose to work with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer to weaponize Mr. Biden's personal computer data against his father, Joseph R. Biden, by unlawfully causing the provision of Mr. Biden's personal data to the New York Post," the letter to the DOJ said, accusing Isaac and others of "theft of computer services" and Giuliani and others of "possession of stolen property."

"This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden's private and personal information. Mr. Mac Isaac's intentional, reckless, and unlawful conduct allowed for hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden's personal data, without any discretion, to be circulated around the Internet," the letter to Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said, according to CNN.

The letter also noted that Bannon claimed in September 2020 that he "possessed a copy of Mr. Biden's computer data" and that he and others "accessed the hard drive's contents at different points, without authorization from the owner."

Giuliani and Bannon fired back at Biden over the letters.

"The work order is as clear as it can be. The laptop became abandoned property under John Mac Isaac's control. Raising concerns now, after so many years, indicates just how devastating the texts and videos from Hunter's laptop truly are," a spokesperson for Giuliani told NBC News.

"I thought Biden told us it was all Russian disinformation," Bannon told the outlet.

Mac Isaac's attorney dismissed the letter, telling CNN it was an example of a "privileged person hiring yet another high-priced attorney to redirect attention away from his own unlawful actions."

The letter also calls for an investigation into Giuliani's attorney Robert Costello, who called the letter a "legally frivolous document."

Biden has previously dodged questions about whether the content leaked from the laptop is legitimate but the letters appear to acknowledge that at least some of it is. The letters say that evaluating the data has been "exceedingly difficult because, for months, neither the New York Post 'nor its source for the material, President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani, were willing to share' that data with the public."

"More recently, downstream recipients of what has been purported to be Mr. Biden's hard drive have reported anomalies in the data, suggesting manipulation of it," the letters added.

"These letters do not confirm Mac Isaac's or others' versions of a so-called laptop," Lowell told NBC News. "They address their conduct of seeking, manipulating and disseminating what they allege to be Mr. Biden's personal data, wherever they claim to have gotten it."

Mac Isaac has said that Biden dropped the laptop off at his shop in April 2019 and signed a contract that included a policy stating the laptop would become Mac Isaac's property if it was not picked up within 90 days. Mac Isaac has said that he went through files on the laptop the day after it was dropped off. FBI agents served a subpoena and seized the laptop in December 2019, according to Mac Issac.

A copy of the hard drive was sent to one of Giulaini's company's addresses in August or September of 2020, according to Costello, and Giuliani sent a copy to the New York Post. Giuliani claimed at the time that he had "every right to use" the hard drive.

The letters also called for an investigation into Marco Polo, a research group run by Garrett Ziegler, a former aide to Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro. The group published emails and documents from the laptop on a public website. Ziegler told Politico that he received the copy of the laptop from Giuliani and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Biden's team sent a letter to the IRS calling for a probe into Ziegler and calling into question the group's tax-exempt status.

The group "has failed to operate solely for charitable purposes," the letter said, according to ABC News. "To the contrary, [Marco Polo] has operated as little more than a thinly disguised political operation to attack the Biden administration and the Biden family."

Ziegler's group said in a statement to NBC News that "the letter to the IRS about Marco Polo is full of speculations and basic misunderstandings about the case law surrounding 501(c)(3) organizations. Hopefully, federal and state investigators will see this for what it is: a desperate attempt by Hunter and his family to get the attention off of their crimes."

Biden's team also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fox News and host Tucker Carlson, calling for a retraction and correction of a report that alleged that Biden was part of a "money laundering scheme to finance President Biden's lifestyle" by paying him $50,000 per month in rent.

Carlson's promotion of the story is in "flagrant violation of all journalistic professionalism," the letter said, threatening "potential litigation" if the network does not comply.

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