High-priced attorneys for Hunter Biden dispatched letters on Wednesday to the Delaware attorney general and the Department of Justice pushing them to launch investigations into a slew of individuals who had shared information allegedly retrieved from the laptop abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop. But yesterday’s transparent attempt to sic top state and federal law enforcement officials on those exposing the Biden family pay-to-play scandal is already backfiring, with Biden’s clarifying the letters are not an admission that the laptop was Hunter’s.
In two detailed, 14-page letters penned by Winston & Strawn attorney Abbe David Lowell, the Hunter Biden attorney requested the attorney general of Delaware and the Department of Justice investigate whether John Paul Mac Isaac, Robert Costello, Rudy Giuliani, Stephen Bannon, Jack Maxey, Garrett Ziegler, and Yaacov Apelbaum committed state or federal crimes. “There is considerable reason to believe” those individuals violated various laws “in accessing, copying, manipulating, and/or disseminating Mr. Biden’s personal computer data,” Hunter’s attorney opened his Wednesday missive.
The lengthy letters then detail each of the individuals’ purported actions that Lowell claims provide “considerable reason to believe” they committed various state or federal crimes, which the Winston & Strawn attorney then identifies and analyzes.
Starting with John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the Delaware repair shop where the laptop was left for repairs, Lowell asserts, “Mr. Mac Isaac has admitted to gaining access to our client’s personal computer data in Delaware without Mr. Biden’s consent.”
“Mr. Mac Isaac has admitted to copying that data without Mr. Biden’s consent, and Mr. Mac Isaac has admitted to distributing copies of that data from his place in Delaware,” the letter to the Delaware AG continues.
Given that Mac Isaac has maintained from day one that the “computer data” he copied was contained on a laptop abandoned at his repair shop by an individual he believed was Hunter Biden, yesterday’s letters to the Delaware attorney general and the DOJ appeared as an apparent admission by Hunter that yes, the laptop was his.
But when asked whether Hunter “now acknowledge[s] he or someone on his behalf dropped off his laptop for repairs at Mac Isaac’s store,” Lowell told The Federalist, “These letters do not confirm Mac Isaac’s or others’ versions of a so-called laptop. They address their conduct of seeking, manipulating and disseminating what they allege to be Mr. Biden’s personal data, wherever they claim to have gotten it.”
In an exclusive interview with The Federalist, Mac Isaac’s attorney Brian Della Rocca seemed flabbergasted by the continued obfuscating by Hunter Biden’s legal team. “Is Hunter denying that he was in Delaware in April of 2019 then? To this day, he has not denied being in Wilmington at that time,” he said. “Nor has he ever denied dropping off the laptop with John Paul. Is he denying doing so now?”
“John Paul has not, nor will he ever manipulate the data on Hunter’s hard drive. That is just not who he is,” Della Rocca told The Federalist. And it would be easy to confirm the authenticity of the data, Della Rocca explained, stressing that “the data on the drive he has can be compared to the laptop, which is in the possession of the FBI, to show he has not made any changes to the information.”
Della Rocca also condemned the letters’ attempt to suggest Mac Isaac lied to law enforcement officials.
“Mr. Mac Isaac has insisted that he did not make a bit-by-bit copy or clone of the hard drive,” page eight of the Biden attorney’s letter maintained, continuing:
Nor could he make such a copy because the hard drive was soldered to the laptop’s mother board, and he could not stay logged into the waterlogged laptop long enough to copy the entirety of the hard drive because the waterlogged laptop would periodically turn off. Instead, Mr. Mac Isaac chose what he wanted to access and copy from Mr. Biden’s personal data that Mr. Mac Isaac unlawfully obtained. Thus, any representation by Mr. Mac Isaac to law enforcement that what was in his possession was the entire hard drive would have been a knowing false statement. Moreover, the absence of a true clone of the hard drive created the opportunity for mischief—namely, the addition of files to this “hard drive,” the manipulation of files on this “hard drive,” and the destruction of files from this “hard drive.”
Mac Isaac’s attorney told The Federalist this passage represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the process for retrieving data from a damaged MacBook Pro 13. “Due to the damaged condition and poor stability of the MacBook, John Paul had to manually recover the user data,” Mac Isaac’s attorney explained. “John Paul was able to recover the entire contents (220GB) [of] the folder named, RobertHunter.”
“Per Hunter’s request, no attempt to recover the remaining system files or applications was made because they did not include personal data,” Mac Isaac’s lawyer stressed. Della Rocca added that “the only law enforcement agency to which John Paul has provided a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop was the FBI,” and that the FBI also took custody of the laptop at the same time, making it possible for the FBI to compare what Mac Isaac recovered from the “RobertHunter” folder on the original laptop. “There would be no difference,” Mac Isaac’s attorney emphasized.
The accusation that Mac Isaac accessed Hunter Biden’s personal data without his consent is also “absolutely false,” Della Rocca told The Federalist.
While Della Rocca did not elaborate, the signed repair contract stated that if the laptop was not retrieved within 90 days of “notification of completed service,” it would be treated as “abandoned.” Hunter Biden’s attorney did not respond to The Federalist’s inquiry on whether it was his position that Hunter Biden had “not abandoned the property under the repair contract,” with the Winston & Strawn attorney instead stressing the letters do not confirm Mac Isaac’s “versions of a so-called laptop.”
The repair contract further provided that the owner of the equipment agreed to hold Mac Isaac “harmless for any damage or loss of property.”
Yet, here we are, with “another privileged person hiring yet another high-priced attorney to redirect attention away from his own unlawful actions,” Della Rocca scoffed. “This is entirely a P.R. move,” he added, telling The Federalist he first saw the lengthy letters from Hunter’s attorney when CBS contacted him for comment.
The public relations move, however, is already backfiring, with the general public interpreting the letter as an implicit acknowledgment that the laptop from hell was Hunter Biden’s. And things may only get worse, if the FBI is forced to confirm that, yes, the damning documents publicly circulating are authentic copies of the material contained in the MacBook’s “RobertHunter” folder.
Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.