Already drowning in legal battles, Hunter Biden has willingly added another to the list in pursuit of a more aggressive strategy. On Tuesday, Biden’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, his companies, and his former lawyer Robert Costello, on allegations of violating federal and California computer fraud laws. Giuliani and Costello, the suit claims, illegally obtained Biden’s digital data in order to “access, tamper with, manipulate, alter, damage, and copy” it.
Giuliani and his allies have said he was given an external hard drive associated with Biden’s laptop—which Biden allegedly left at a Delaware computer repair store but never retrieved—during his time as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and cybersecurity adviser. But by repeatedly accessing the hard drive, the suit alleges, Giuliani and Costello engaged in illegal hacking efforts and are responsible for “the ‘total annihilation’ of Plaintiff’s digital privacy…[and] data.”?
“In light of the foregoing illegal activities by Defendants, their refusals to cease and desist in their unlawful behavior, and their apparent intention to continue violating the law in the future, Plaintiff has no alternative but to commence this lawsuit,” Biden’s attorneys write in the lawsuit filed in a federal court in Los Angeles.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit, Giuliani’s spokesman Ted Goodman said, “Hunter Biden has previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop. I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing.” Costello did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With assistance from Giuliani, the contents of the digital files first became public in a New York Post story published weeks before the 2020 election. But the suit claims that at least some of the data was “manipulated, altered, and damaged” prior to it being sent to Giuliani and Costello, who allegedly then made “further alterations.”
Giuliani has maintained that he was free to comb through the files because Biden allegedly abandoned them. However, the data’s original owner does not agree. “If you take your coat to the dry cleaner and leave your wallet in it, and you forget to pick it up, it doesn’t mean the dry cleaner gets the wallet and all your money. It’s just common sense,” a Biden attorney told Politico while describing their legal strategy against Giuliani. The same attorney, who spoke anonymously, suggested that Biden could pursue additional litigation in the future: “Everyone involved in stealing and manipulating Hunter’s data should be hearing footsteps right about now.”
Biden, meanwhile, has been the subject of a Justice Department investigation into his potential violations of tax, firearm, and money laundering laws. The first son was recently indicted by Special Counsel David Weiss for purchasing a handgun in 2018 while allegedly still addicted to crack cocaine. He is also facing a congressional probe, under the House GOP’s effort to impeach Joe Biden for supposedly using his position as vice president to enrich his son and other family members. Republican lawmakers have yet to produce any evidence in support of this claim.?Lately, Hunter Biden has shown more of a willingness to punch back. Earlier this month, he sued former Trump aide Garrett Ziegler in a filing similar to his offensive against Giuliani, and sued the IRS for allegedly violating his personal financial privacy.
As for Giuliani, the former New York City mayor is in his own legal miasma. A federal judge found him liable last month for defaming two Georgia election workers whom he had falsely accused of manipulating ballots during the 2020 election. He has also been indicted in the Fulton County district attorney’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged election tampering in Georgia. (He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.) And in May, Giuliani was sued by a former employee for sexual assault wage theft, and other workplace misconduct—all of which he denies.
Making matters worse, Giuliani appears unable to cover his mounting legal bills. Last week, Costello, the other defendant named in Hunter Biden’s lawsuit, sued Giuliani for allegedly failing to pay a more than $1.3 million bill he owes for legal services.