Coming full circle: Subpoena demands FBI return Hunter Biden laptop to Delaware repair shop owner

Legal actions follow after Hunter Biden’s lawyers question whether there even was a laptop. This is the same laptop that Biden sued a repair shop owner for disclosing "private information" the repairman says it contained, and more recently sued Rudy Giuliani for computer intrusion and disclosing "private information." Now Team Hunter is back to denying the existence of the laptop.

Published: September 28, 2023 11:09pm

It’s been called a device “from hell.” Intelligence experts once falsely insinuated it was Russian disinformation. And lawyers for the president's son this month even questioned if it really even exists.

Remarkably, the Hunter Biden laptop saga begun four years ago is turning the tables on the FBI, which now is being asked to return the now infamous device and its data to the origin point of a scandal that prompted an impeachment inquiry against the 46th president.

Lawyers for Delaware computer shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac this week subpoenaed America’s most famous law enforcement agency, demanding the bureau return the laptop, an associated hard drive and other data that it seized from him in December 2019, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by Just the News.

The subpoena, dated Sept. 25, from the Superior Court of Delaware says Mac Isaac needs the device as evidence in his lawsuit against CNN, Politico and Hunter Biden alleging he has been defamed.

Specifically, the evidence demand requests the return of  “Apple MacBook Pro Laptop Computer (“MacBook”); Serial Number FVFXC2MMHV29 obtained from John Paul Mac Isaac via grand jury subpoena on December 9, 2019” as well as “Western Digital (external hard drive) (“External Hard Drive”); Serial Number WX21A19ATFF3 obtained from John Paul Mac Isaac via grand jury subpoena on December 9, 2019.”

It also asks for some of the paperwork showing his dealings with Hunter Biden when the first son dropped of the laptop in spring 2019 to his shop seeking data recovery and repair services.

And the subpoena also asks the FBI to turn over “any and all documents and communications relating to the authentication” of the laptop and associated hard drive.

You can read the subpoena here.

Mac Isaac's subpoena is the latest twist for a laptop that has become one of the most litigated and controversial computer devices in American political history.

The laptop – its contents later chronicled in a best-selling book by New York Post columnist Miranda Devine titled “Laptop from Hell” – first burst onto the scene in October 2020 in the final days of the presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

It was immediately censored from social media platforms and by mainstream media who justified the ban because of a letter signed by 51 intelligence analysts suggesting the laptop was part of a Russian disinformation plan. That letter was then used by Joe Biden in the final presidential debate to deflect allegations about his son.

The laptop was, in fact, not manufactured disinformation. The FBI had corroborated it indeed belonged to Hunter Biden and had not been tampered with months earlier, according to evidence recently made public by two IRS whistleblowers. CBS News commissioned a forensic analysis of the laptop and also reported that it  "shows no evidence of tampering or fabrication."  

The Director of National Intelligence also had determined the laptop was not part of a foreign influence operation.

Just the News reported earlier this year that the "Russian disinformation" letter and its claims were organized by former Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, who was prodded to action by then Biden-campaign official and now Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Morell admitted in testimony to Congress that he was simply trying to help Joe Biden by giving him a “talking point” during the election debate and had no concrete evidence to suggest Russians were involved.

But that hasn’t kept the laptop from being the focal point of litigation, including against social media companies and government agencies accused of improper censorship, and suits and countersuits between Mac Isaac and Hunter Biden.

The latest litigation came this week when Hunter Biden sued ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his lawyer Robert Costello, alleging they improperly disseminated contents from Hunter Biden's "devices or storage platforms" that they claimed came from the laptop's hard drive. Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing in a statement issued by his spokesman earlier this week.

Remarkably, Hunter Biden’s lawsuit declined to acknowledge the laptop even existed, calling it an “alleged laptop computer” and suggesting what Giuliani distributed in fact was “not a ‘laptop’ at all.”

"It is, according to their own public statements, an external drive that defendants were told contained hundreds of gigabytes of plaintiffs personal data,” the suit read.

You can read that lawsuit here.

This is not the first time that Biden's lawyers have argued that material taken from "some" device was improperly disseminated, while still dodging ownership of a laptop. In March, Biden countersued Mac Isaac, claiming he invaded Biden's privacy in 2019 by accessing and wrongfully sharing his personal data with several individuals. Biden's countersuit was a response to Mac Issac filing a defamation claim against Biden.

In Biden's claims against Mac Issac, his attorneys hedged their bets by dropping a footnote into their filings that says: "This is not an admission by Mr. Biden that Mac Isaac (or others) in fact possessed any particular laptop containing electronically stored data belonging to Mr. Biden. Rather, Mr. Biden simply acknowledges that at some point, Mac Isaac obtained electronically stored data, some of which belonged to Mr. Biden."

Mac Isaac has said he obtained the information from Biden's laptop legally and has said that Biden himself dropped it off in April 2019 and never returned to claim it. Mac Isaac has said he waited 90 days and then considered it abandoned.

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