WASHINGTON (AP) – The lawyer for President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, asked the Justice Department in a letter Wednesday to investigate close allies of former President Donald Trump and others who accessed and disseminated personal data from laptop says the owner of a computer repair shop. dropped off at their Delaware store in 2019.
In a separate letter, Hunter Biden’s attorneys also asked Fox News host Tucker Carlson to retract and apologize for what they say are false and defamatory statements made about him repeatedly on air, including to suggest without evidence that he had unauthorized access to classified documents found at his father’s home.
The request for a criminal investigation, which comes when Hunter Biden faces his own tax evasion investigation by the Department of Justice, it does not mean that federal prosecutors will open a probe or take any other action. But it nonetheless represents a concerted change in strategy and a rare public response from the young Biden and his legal team to attacks by Republican officials. and the conservative media, the scrutiny is expected to continue now that the GOP is in control of the House.
It also represents the latest salvo in the long-running laptop saga, which began with a New York Post story in October 2020 detailing some of the emails it says were found on the device related to Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. Trump quickly adopted it as a campaign issue during the presidential election that year.
The letter, signed by prominent Washington attorney Abbe Lowell, seeks to investigate, among others, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, longtime Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani’s own attorney and the owner of a Wilmington computer repair shop, John Paul Son of Isaac, said. Hunter Biden dropped a laptop at his store in April 2019 and never returned to pick it up.
The letter cites excerpts from MacIsaac’s book in which he admitted to reviewing private and sensitive material from Biden’s laptop, including a file titled “income.pdf.” He notes that Mac Isaac sent a copy of the laptop data to Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, which he shared with Giuliani, a close friend of Trump who at the time was pushing discredited theories about the younger Biden.
Giuliani provided the information to a reporter at the New York Post, who first wrote about the laptop, and also to Bannon, according to the letter. Hunter Biden never consented to any of his personal information being accessed or shared in that way, his lawyer says.
“The direct result of this failed political dirty trick was the exposure, exploitation and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” the letter says, adding, “Politicians and the news media used access, copy, distribute and manipulate this illegally. details to distort the truth and harm Mr. Biden.”
Mac Isaac declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press Wednesday afternoon. Costello, asked to comment on behalf of himself and Giuliani, called the letter “a frivolous legal document” and said that he was “desperate because they know that the day of judgment is coming for the Bidens .”
A lawyer who represented Bannon at a trial in Washington, DC, last year did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A representative for Fox News had no immediate comment.
The letter to the Department of Justice was addressed to its chief national security officer, Matthew Olsen. It cites potential violations of statutes prohibiting unauthorized access to a computer or stored electronic communications, as well as the transportation of stolen data across state lines and the publication of restricted personal data in order to intimidate or threaten.
It also asks prosecutors to investigate whether any of the data has been manipulated or tampered with in any way.
“The actions described above deserve more than a full investigation and, depending on the facts that arise, may merit prosecution under various statutes. It is not common for a private individual to seek the advice of someone else who is being investigated, but the actions and motives behind this demand,” Lowell wrote in the letter.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.
Separate letters requesting investigations were also sent to the Delaware state attorney general’s office and the Internal Revenue Service. Spokesmen there did not immediately return emails seeking comment.
Associated Press writer David Bauder in New York contributed to this report.
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