Hunter Biden's Laptop Bites Back
Yesterday Hunter Biden's lawyer sent letters to two prosecutors, the IRS, and Fox News demanding legal action regarding a laptop stolen from his client. As opening salvos go, it was a long time in coming.
According to "Laptop from Hell" lore, in 2019 the president's son dropped off three waterlogged laptops at a computer repair shop in Delaware and never picked them up. The shop owner, a man named John Paul Mac Isaac, who is legally blind and fond of tam o' shanter hats, copied the most interesting bits of the damaged hard drive and turned them over to Rudy Giuliani and his lawyer Robert Costello. From thence they migrated to Steve Bannon and the New York Post, and for a brief minute we all knew who some goon named Tony Bobulinski was.
For upwards of two years, the laptop has been a main character on rightwing media, with photographs of Hunter Biden naked, having sex, and using drugs a mainstay of Fox News. Giuliani used it as the basis of preposterous claims that President Joe Biden and his son were bilking billions from the Ukrainians. Or perhaps the Chinese. Who can say, really! Rudy's not really a details kind of guy.
In the meantime, Donald Trump's goombah Attorney General Bill Barr tasked the then-US Attorney in Delaware with investigating the younger Biden for ... God knows what. But whatever it is, they haven't found it more than two years later. Not that it stopped Republicans from screaming bloody murder, including demanding LOCK HER UPS for saying he didn't have a drug problem when he applied for a gun permit.
Hey, look, we finally found a gun law the GOP can get behind!
Perhaps the time for the younger Biden to respond was, oh, literally any time before now. But here we are, with the president's son represented by Abbe Lowell, a DC fixture so regular that he represented Jared and Ivanka during their time in the White House.
Lowell sent letters to the Attorney General of Delaware, Kathy Jennings, as well as to Matthew Olsen, head of the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, requesting an investigation into several individuals they accuse of illegally accessing and disseminating the younger Biden's data. These include Rudy, Costello, and Steve Bannon, of course, as well as Mac Isaac, the computer weirdo. Also on the list are Bannon's henchman Jack Maxey, who stole a copy of the data and sent it to multiple Republican members of Congress; Yaacov Apelbaum, an aide to Senator Ron Johnson who helped Mac Isaac download the data; and Garrett Ziegler, an aide to Peter Navarro who seems to have spent most of his time ratfucking for the campaign and now runs a "non-profit" dedicated to disseminating Hunter Biden's stolen data.
Ziegler famously let Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn, Patrick Byrne, and Rudy Giuliani into the White House on December 18, 2020, for the infamous Oval Office showdown with the White House lawyers. He later came into the crosshairs of the House January 6 Select Committee, where he pled the Fifth in answer to every substantive question. He's also a total dick.
In a letter to the IRS Director of Tax Exempt Organizations, Lowell notes that Ziegler's supposed charity is "little more than a thinly disguised political operation to attack the Biden administration and the Biden family" with a stated mission to "[f]inish our comprehensive dossier on crimes found in the Biden Laptop." The letter included 36 pages documenting Ziegler's use of his company for political activity, which is not the purpose of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Another of Biden's lawyers, Brian Sullivan, sent a preservation letter to Tucker Carlson as well as Fox News's General Counsel Bernard Guger regarding a false story about Hunter Biden paying $50,000 a month in rent. The tale picked up traction on the Right in January of 2023, largely thanks to Carlson and the New York Post's Miranda Devine, who got the "tip" from an anonymous Twitter account and ran with it. According to the letter, Fox hosts continued to run with the story, even after Breitbart and the Daily Caller had retracted it, which is ... not a great look.
Of course, the wingers are running with the story line that Hunter Biden has finally ADMITTED that the laptop they've been serving up is his, thereby proving every conspiracy theory they've been saying about him for years. In fact, the "laptop" isn't a laptop at all — assuming Mac Isaac's story is somewhere in the neighborhood of true, the "laptop" is a digital image of some portion of a waterlogged hard drive that's been passed around for years and, according the Washington Post, shows every sign of having been tampered with. The Post's forensic analysts could only authenticate about 22,000 of the 129,000 emails in the cache, so be smart.
And FFS, be faster than Hunter Biden. Also, more careful with your devices.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.