Hunter Biden is suing former New York City mayor and Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani over the notorious laptop he left at a Delaware computer repair shop.
In a new lawsuit, filed in US District Court of California on Tuesday morning, President Joe Biden’s son sued Mr Giuliani and Mr Giuliani’s former attorney Robert Costello for damages over alleged violations of computer fraud and data access over the laptop which infamously became fodder for right-wing attacks against both Hunter and his father.
The suit accuses Mr Giuliani and Mr Costello of being “among those who have been primarily responsible for what has been described as the ‘total annihilation’ of Plaintiff’s digital privacy. They also are among those who have been primarily responsible for the ‘total annihilation’ of Plaintiff’s data”.
“For the past many months and even years, Defendants have dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy toward looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from Plaintiff’s devices or storage platforms, including what Defendants claim to have obtained from Plaintiff’s alleged “laptop” computer,” the suit alleges.
As well as Mr Giuliani and Mr Costello, two of the former’s companies Giuliani Partners, Giuliani Group and Giuliani Security & Safety are also named as defendants.
In October 2020 – one month before the presidential election – reports began surfacing about the contents of a laptop that Hunter Biden dropped off at a Delaware computer repair store, and failed to ever collect.
The hard drive infamously landed in the hands of Mr Giuliani – a close ally of and personal attorney to Mr Trump who became a key figure in the former president’s election fraud claims following his loss to Mr Biden.
Several photos, emails and files were then leaked to the media.
In the lawsuit, Hunter accuses Mr Giuliani and Mr Costello of illegally hacking into his personal data and then tampering with and altering some of it.
He claims that his data “was manipulated, altered and damaged before it was copied and sent to” the defendants and that Mr Giuliani and Mr Costello’s own “illegal hacking and tampering has involved further alterations and damage to the data to a degree that is presently unknown“ to Hunter.
The new lawsuit comes as Hunter has gone on the defence against attacks from the right and filed a series of lawsuits in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Hunter brought a lawsuit against former Trump administration White House aide Garrett Ziegler over the laptop.
He also sued the IRS for unlawfully releasing his private tax information after two IRS whistleblowers came forward with information.
Earlier this month, Hunter was hit with three felony gun charges following a long-running federal investigation.
He is accused of lying on a form when he bought a firearm back in October 2018.
At the time, he was struggling with drug addiction; it is illegal to buy a gun while taking drugs.
The charges came after he reached a plea deal with the Justice Department back in June – before it infamously fell apart before a judge.
Under the terms of the deal, Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanours for failing to pay his taxes on time in 2017 and 2018.
In exchange, prosecutors would not charge with him a gun possession violation.
The judge refused to accept the scope of the plea deal and the agreement – which was slammed as a “sweetheart deal” by Mr Biden’s critics – fell apart, paving the way for Hunter to be hit with a three-part criminal indictment.
Beyond the federal gun case, Hunter is also under investigation for his taxes and business dealings.