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'Lawyer up, and get out': FBI first spurned Hunter Biden laptop, says Delaware tech repairman

FBI "didn't show an interest in any of the money" after seizing Hunter Biden's laptop, according to John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer shop owner who reported it to authorities.

Updated: January 26, 2021 - 8:49am

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John Paul Mac Isaac, the Delaware computer shop owner who unwittingly came into possession of Hunter Biden's laptop, says an FBI agent initially gave a stern warning to his family when first offered a copy of the explosive evidence about Joe Biden's son: "You better lawyer up and get out of my office."

In a wide-ranging interview Monday with Just the News, Isaac described what concerned him most about the contents on the laptop, his extensive efforts to get authorities in law enforcement and Congress to pay attention to it and his anger at the news media, Democrats and even security officials who initially accused him of carrying out a Russian disinformation campaign or trying to make money off the discovery.

U.S. intelligence has determined the laptop contents — now in the hands of the FBI and Congress and part of a criminal tax case — were not Russian disinformation. Isaac said he never took a dime for providing the materials to the FBI, Congress and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, not even when offered reimbursement for the hard drive equipment he used to make copies.

"Well, for somebody who's not very political, I assume what happened to me was the quintessential political hit job, to have that many people come out, without even talking to me, or having a conversation without doing a single background check," he told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

"I still feel a little bit upset about that," he added. "I have people that I've known for a long time, they're convinced that I'm a tool, or I've been a pawn or I got huge payout. And it's completely decimated my business. I had to leave town."

Isaac said the efforts "tagging me to Russia" were insulting, given that his father and grandfathers served in the military dating to World War II. He said he believed the attacks were just an outgrowth of the false Russia collusion story used to vilify President Trump at the start of his presidency.

"I get why they [critics] did it," he said. "It's topical. Everybody's scared of Russia, Russia, Russia. And why not, you know, if it worked four or six years ago, try it again."

Isaac said one of his biggest disappointments was the FBI's behavior when his family offered the contents of the hard drive to agents.

Isaac said a man identifying himself as Hunter Biden dropped off the laptop and other water-damaged computer equipment in early spring 2019 and failed to pick it up, even after signing a document declaring it would become his shop's property in 90 days.

After the 90 days passed, Isaac said he examined the laptop contents and was troubled by what he found: explicit sex photos and evidence of large, suspicious foreign transactions involving the Biden family and Ukraine, China and Russia. He said he asked his father, an Air Force veteran, for advice in summer 2019, and his father went to the FBI in Albuquerque, N.M., in September 2019 with a copy of the laptop contents.

Isaac, who is visually impaired, said he had no doubts the laptop belonged to Hunter Biden after inspecting its contents.

"I have no doubt in my mind," he said. "Probably about within 30 minutes of performing the data transfer, I had been able to verify that the person that was in the shop was indeed the person that was on the computer and the owner of the computer."

Asked what prompted him to approach the FBI, Isaac said he was concerned by the emails and other records on the laptop showing complex financial transactions with foreigners, especially with Ukraine and the Burisma Holdings gas company that was in the impeachment headlines in summer and fall 2019.

"Obviously by that time during the summer, Ukraine was in the conversation," he explained. "So I had remembered seeing some things. And there was obviously the personal data. That was a concern, but also the Ukraine stuff, some of these players that were involved, and then the amount of money that was involved. That started to throw up red flags, because people do horrible things over money."

He said he was stunned by the FBI's reaction to his father when first offered the laptop contents in September 2019.

"He had the copy of the drive as well as the copy of the signed authorization," Isaac said of his father. "So that if there was a legal question on how this was obtained, here's a document that proves it. And the FBI agent that he spoke to refused to give his name and then said you better lawyer up and get out of my office."

Isaac said a month or so later, an FBI agent from Delaware who specialized in child exploitation crimes approached him, eventually seizing the laptop with a grand jury subpoena. But even then, Isaac said, the FBI seemed disinterested in the laptop contents.

"They really didn't show an interest in any of the money," he said. "They were more interested in why I was afraid, and not necessarily what was on the on the drive."

"We sat down," Isaac continued, "and the first thing they asked me was if I had seen any child pornography, and you know, I'm not wanting to look at another man's porn. So I generally wasn't,  it wasn't what I was looking for. When I sat down to look for stuff, I really focused in on Ukraine. What I casually saw when I was doing the data transfer, sure, there was porn."

"Then they asked why I was concerned," he added. "So they never brought up money laundering at all, which that seems kind of odd. But they wanted to hear my concerns. I explained to them that there's powers foreign and domestic that are involved. There's a lot of money involved. Somebody, someday is going to look for this."

Hunter Biden has long denied wrongdoing but recently acknowledged he has been informed by the U.S. attorney in Delaware that he is under criminal investigation for his "tax affairs." Federal officials have declined comment, except to acknowledge the probe began in 2018.

Isaac said he has since closed down his shop in Delaware and is now taking woodworking classes for a possible change in careers. Though he acknowledged coming from a conservative family, he said the reason he is speaking out now isn't politics, but rather to dispel the censorship, cancel culture and false allegations waged against him.

"If I can shine a light on the bias of the media and the bias of social media ... then that's great," he said. "I think that's gone on long enough. But mainly get the truth out."

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