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Former owner of computer store where Hunter Biden left his computer suing Twitter for defamation

John Paul Mac Isaac is alleging that he was harmed and threatened because Twitter claimed he had hacked the material.

Updated: February 19, 2021 - 8:03am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

John Paul Mac Isaac has sued Twitter for defamation in connection with the social media giant’s censorship last year of materials gleaned from a laptop that President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, left at a computer repair shop.

Isaac owned the computer repair shop in Delaware called The Mac Shop, and on April 12, 2019 was asked to "recover information from damaged Mac computers allegedly owned by Hunter Biden,” the lawsuit said  

Within a day or two, Mac Isaac had completed the recovery. He called Hunter Biden to let him know so that he could come pick up the recovered data, which was stored on an external hard drive. He attempted a second time, and still Hunter Biden did not come to retrieve his material, the suit said.

As per the agreement, after 90 days and proper notice, if the party did not come to pick up his items, the material would be considered abandoned and the shop would be held harmless for any damage or loss of property, the suit said.

Starting in late July of 2019, Mac Isaac had multiple interactions with the FBI, some congressional staffers and Robert Costello, the attorney for Rudy Giuliani. On October 14, 2020, the New York Post ran an expose on the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop. The Post had received it from Giuliani, who had received it from Costello. Mac Isaac had given the material to Costello, but he did not authorize or know about it going to the Post. In fact, he had asked to have his name kept out of it, the suit said.

The Post proceeded to run a photo of the shop without blurring the name, thus revealing where Hunter Biden had left his computer. Twitter then locked the New York Post Twitter account, saying it had violated one of its rules regarding “distribution of hacked material.”

The lawsuit said the published materials were definitely not “hacked material.” As a result of the unwanted exposure and publicity, Mac Isaac alleged he "began to receive negative reviews of his business as well as threats to his person and property." He also had to close his business.  

He alleged that "Defendant TWITTER acted with malicious intent to harm the Plaintiff by publishing the defamatory statement," and that "TWITTER was grossly negligent in doing so."  

The contents of the computer hard drive became an issue in the 2020 presidential race between President Trump and Joe Biden. They illuminated business dealings by Hunter Biden and other members of his family, particularly in Communist China. Joe Biden denied that he or his son had done anything wrong.

Hunter Biden, however, has acknowledged that federal prosecutors are investigating his tax matters  

Mac Isaac is seeking unspecified damages in a trial by jury. He is defraying his legal bills with donations on Go Fund Me.