Lawyers for Hunter Biden stepped up their legal offensive against top Trump allies on Friday by filing a countersuit regarding the alleged dissemination of Biden’s electronic data and notifying a federal judge of their intention to seek depositions from Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani.
The court filings include a lawsuit targeting John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repair shop owner who said Hunter Biden abandoned a water-damaged laptop at his Wilmington, Delaware, store about 18 months before the 2020 election. Biden’s attorneys are alleging invasion of privacy and argue Mac Isaac helped copy and disseminate Hunter Biden’s data for political and commercial purposes.
In the lawsuit, Biden is seeking the return of any copy of his data, compensatory and punitive damages for Mac Isaac’s “willful, wanton and reckless conduct,” as well as reimbursement of attorneys fees.
The countersuit and responses to Mac Isaac’s original lawsuit cite public statements that Mac Isaac, Bannon, Giuliani and others have made regarding their involvement with Hunter Biden’s electronic data. The new suit alleges that Delaware law did not permit Mac Isaac to access or copy the data, drawing a distinction between abandoned “equipment” and data on or embedded within a device.
Biden’s attorneys are also seeking to depose Guo Wengui, a Bannon associate who was allegedly involved in the dissemination of Hunter Biden’s electronic data. Guo was arrested Wednesday by federal authorities in New York on charges related to what prosecutors say was a $1 billion fraud scheme. He has pleaded not guilty.
Representatives for Mac Isaac, Giuliani, Bannon and Guo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hunter Biden’s legal team last month sent letters to 14 people, including Giuliani and Bannon, asking them to preserve potential evidence for future lawsuits related to the alleged theft of personal data. Letters were also sent to the Justice Department’s national security division and Delaware Attorney General’s Office, requesting probes 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.”
A spokesperson for Hunter Biden’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s court filings but previously told NBC News that the president’s son “has spent the last several years being the subject of investigations and exhaustive media scrutiny, while also telling his story in a detailed memoir — he has nothing to hide. The people who have yet to be held accountable for their wrongdoing are the recipients of these letters.”
Hunter Biden and the Biden family finances are the subject of investigations led by Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the new chair of the GOP-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
Hunter Biden’s finances — specifically his tax payments to the IRS — have been under investigation by federal prosecutors in Delaware since 2018.
Sarah Fitzpatrick is a senior investigative producer and story editor for NBC News. She previously worked for CBS News and "60 Minutes."