Embattled first son Hunter Biden sued former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in federal court in California on Tuesday, alleging a violation of computer privacy laws and suggesting that the material on his infamous laptop had been doctored.
The lawsuit also names Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, as a codefendant.
The younger Biden’s lawsuit comes two weeks after he was indicted on drug-related gun charges and just two days before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee is set to hold its first hearing in an impeachment inquiry targeting President Joe Biden.
The lawsuit accuses Giuliani and Costello of “hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from” Biden’s devices, CNN reported. The complaint by the president’s son claims the defendants are to blame for a “total annihilation” of his digital privacy.
“Plaintiff has demanded defendants Giuliani and Costello cease their unlawful activities with respect to plaintiff’s data and return any data in their possession belonging to plaintiff, but they have refused to do so,” the complaint reads. “Defendants’ statements suggest that their unlawful hacking activities are ongoing today and that, unless stopped, will continue into the future, thereby necessitating this action.”
The lawsuit seems to suggest that Giuliani and Costello doctored the information on the laptop.
“Plaintiff’s data was manipulated, altered and damaged before it was copied and sent to Defendants; and Defendants’ illegal hacking and tampering has involved further alterations and damage to the data to a degree that is presently unknown to plaintiff,” according to Biden’s lawsuit.
Versions of the word “manipulate” appear 22 times in the court filing, and versions of the word “tamper” appear 18 times, presenting the impression that the infamous laptop revelations may be false or inaccurate.
An adviser to Giuliani, who worked in recent years as a lawyer and campaign surrogate for former President Donald Trump, was dismissive of Biden’s legal allegation.
“Hunter Biden has previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop,” Ted Goodman, the Giuliani adviser, told CNN. “I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing.”
The younger Biden apparently abandoned the laptop in 2019 at a repair shop in Delaware, whose owner eventually put its drive in the hands of Giuliani, who in turn provided a copy to reporters at the New York Post.
The newspaper’s initial reporting on Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, his use of drugs and prostitutes, and other explosive contents of the laptop was stifled by Twitter, Facebook, and other social media in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election. This prompted critics to accuse Big Tech of giving the older Biden an unfair advantage over Trump because voters didn’t know all the facts.
It is impossible to know what would have happened had Twitter not suppressed the New York Post’s reporting on the contents of the younger Biden’s laptop. However, a Media Research Center poll conducted in the days after the 2020 election found that 36% of self-described Biden voters said they were not aware of the evidence behind claims that Joe Biden was personally involved in his son Hunter’s business deals with China, a claim bolstered by emails found on Hunter’s laptop.
Fully 13% of those voters (4.6% of all Biden voters in the sample) said that if they had known the facts, they would not have voted for Biden.
Such a shift away from Biden would have given Trump the election, according to the Media Research Center’s analysis of the results. Had the Biden-China story seen the light of day, Trump would have won with a total of 289 electoral votes, the analysis said.
Ken McIntyre and Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report. It was updated shortly after publication to include more details about the court filing.
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