Hunter Biden asks for criminal probe into Trump allies over laptop

Lawyers for Hunter Biden sent letters Wednesday requesting investigations into allies of former President Donald Trump who they say trafficked in stolen information from his laptop — a dramatic shift in strategy for the president’s son after years of GOP attacks.

Among the letters, which were obtained by NBC News, was one sent Wednesday to the Justice Department’s National Security Division asking for an investigation into “individuals for whom there is considerable reason to believe violated various federal laws in accessing, copying, manipulating, and/or disseminating Mr. Biden’s personal computer data,” including Rudy Giuliani, who was Trump’s lawyer at the time.

Hunter Biden lawyers wrote a similar letter to the Delaware attorney general’s office, requesting a probe into the same people for allegedly violating “various Delaware laws” in accessing Biden’s information from what Trump has called “the laptop from hell.”

The Justice Department declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Delaware attorney’s general did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Information from the laptop has raised questions about Biden’s finances, which have been under investigation by federal prosecutors in Delaware since 2018. They’ve also been the source of several salacious stories from conservative media outlets, many focused on his drug use.

Biden has largely kept a low profile during the years of stories — Trump would question “Where’s Hunter?” during campaign rallies in the 2020 election — but a person familiar with the first son’s strategy told NBC News he’s had enough.

“This marks a new approach by Hunter Biden and his team. He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him,” the person said.

Giuliani has acknowledged passing on a copy of the computer’s hard drive to the New York Post shortly before the 2020 presidential election. The letters to investigators also recommend an investigation into John Paul Mac Isaac, who’s said that Biden abandoned the water-damaged laptop at his Wilmington, Delaware, computer repair store.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference in New York
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference in New York in 2022.Mary Altaffer / AP file

“Mr. Mac Isaac chose to work with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer to weaponize Mr. Biden’s personal computer data against his father, Joseph R. Biden, by unlawfully causing the provision of Mr. Biden’s personal data to the New York Post,” the letter says.

It accused Mac Isaac and others of “theft of computer services” and Giuliani and others of “possession of stolen property.”

A lawyer for Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also singled out in the letters is former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who claimed in September of 2020 that he “possessed a copy of Mr. Biden’s computer data.” The letter says he and others “accessed the hard drive’s contents at different points, without authorization from the owner.”

When reached for comment Wednesday, Bannon responded in part, “I thought Biden told us it was all Russian disinformation.”

While Biden has previous deflected comment about whether the various emails and pictures were legitimate, the letters seem to acknowledge that at least some are — but said Biden is unsure of how much.

The letters say that evaluating the data has been “exceedingly difficult because, for months, neither the New York Post ‘nor its source for the material, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, were willing to share’ that data with the public. More recently, downstream recipients of what has been purported to be Mr. Biden’s hard drive have reported anomalies in the data, suggesting manipulation of it.”

In another letter sent Wednesday, Biden lawyer Abbe Lowell asked the Internal Revenue Service to review the tax-exempt status of a charitable organization run by Garrett Ziegler, who Biden said uploaded the data he got from Giuliani to the charitable organization’s website.

The letter said the organization has “operated as little more than a thinly disguised political operation to attack the Biden administration and the Biden family,” contrary to regulations that say such groups “may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”

Neither Ziegler nor the IRS immediately responded to requests for comment.

Biden’s lawyers also sent a letter to Fox News and host Tucker Carlson demanding a retraction of “false and defamatory statements made by Mr. Carlson on his show” about Hunter Biden.

The story falsely implied that Hunter Biden was involved in a “money laundering scheme to finance President Biden’s lifestyle” by paying him $50,000 a month in rent. The story was quickly debunked, but Carlson never retracted it, the letter says.

The letter also puts Carlson and the network “on notice of potential litigation” and demands they preserve all documents relating to the story.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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