President Joe Biden's scandal-plagued son continues to lash out at those who helped bring his laptop and its troubling contents to the attention of the American people.
In March, Hunter Biden filed a countersuit against the Delaware-based computer repairman who originally came to possess his abandoned laptop, accusing John Paul Mac Isaac of illegally distributing his personal data and violating his privacy. Mac Isaac maintains he obtained the information from the laptop legally and waited the requisite 90 days before deeming it abandoned.
On Wednesday, Hunter Biden sued Garrett Ziegler, the former Trump White House staffer behind the corruption watchdog Marco Polo, which published the contents of the first son's laptop.
This latest lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, accuses Ziegler and 10 unidentified individuals of having violated state and federal laws concerning computer fraud and improper data access.
The 13-page suit, which characterizes Ziegler as a "zealot" and an exponent of "extremist and counterfactual opinions," alleges that "since having his White House credentials revoked by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meados in or around January 2021, Defendant Ziegler has devoted most of his waking time and energy to accessing, tampering with, manipulating, altering, copying and otherwise using data contained on a copy of a hard drive that Defendants claim to be of Plaintiff's 'laptop' computer and data that Defendants admit to have obtained by hacking into Plaintiff's data."
While now possessive of the laptop and its data, accusing Ziegler and others in the suit of "illegally accessing and tampering" with his data, the New York Post reported last week that elsewhere Hunter Biden continues to deny that the laptop or its contents are his.
Biden allies such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken once similarly cast doubt on the laptop's ownership and chain of custody, characterizing discussion of it as "disinformation" ahead of the 2020 election.
Ziegler responded to the suit, telling CBS in a statement, "I nor the nonprofit, Marco Polo, have been served with a lawsuit — but the one I read this morning out of the Central District of California should embarrass Winston & Strawn LLP. It's not worth the paper it's written on."
CBS News indicated that Ziegler's passing reference to this legal action as a strategic lawsuit against public participation hints at a likely first line of defense against it. California has a law in place by which someone in the former Trump staffer's position can file a special motion to strike a complaint "arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue."
Ziegler, who worked under former Trump adviser Peter Navarro in the then-president's Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, published over 128,000 emails found on Hunter Biden's laptop to a searchable database in May 2022, reported the Daily Mail.
The former Trump staffer indicated that he and his group did so "for the historical record, so in 500 years when people read about America they know ... exactly how [Joe Biden] is compromised."
After closely examining the contents, Ziegler's nonprofit Marco Polo published a 634-page report in 2022, listing alleged crimes committed by the Democratic president along with 459 crimes allegedly committed by Hunter Biden. The Post reported that Ziegler sent the report to over 4,000 people, including every member of Congress, every contact on the laptop, and White House staff.
Hunter Biden's lawsuit against Ziegler demands a jury trial, damages, and an injunction barring further access to Biden's data.
The Post noted that computer fraud cases can carry significant fines and prison sentences in California.
Ziegler highlighted the timing of this latest suit, telling CBS News, "Apart from the numerous state and federal laws and regulations which protect authors like me and the publishing that Marco Polo does, it's not lost on us that Joe's son filed this SLAPP one day after a so-called Impeachment Inquiry into his father was announced. The president's son is a disgrace to our great nation."
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