Hunter Biden filed suit Tuesday against Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s former attorney, Robert Costello, over data accessed and shared from an infamous laptop that purportedly belonged to the president’s son.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in California, named Costello, Giuliani and several of the former New York mayor’s businesses, saying that they are “among those who have been primarily responsible for the ‘total annihilation’” of Biden’s personal data.
“For the past many months and even years, Defendants have dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy toward looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen,” according to the lawsuit. It accused Giuliani and Costello of violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California law.
Giuliani and other supporters of former President Donald Trump said in 2020 that they had obtained data from a laptop that Biden had allegedly left at a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, The Washington Post reported.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, attorneys for Biden said the data in question had come not from a laptop, but from an external hard drive that contained at least some data that had originally been kept on Biden’s devices or in cloud storage. However, they wrote that the data “was manipulated, altered and damaged before it was copied and sent to the Defendants; and Defendants’ illegal hacking and tampering has involved further alterations and damage to the data.”
They added that the extent of the data manipulation and damage was unknown because of Giuliani and Costello’s “continuing refusal to return the data ... so that it can be analyzed or inspected.”
The filing came about a week after Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that two agents wrongly shared his confidential tax information while airing concerns about the handling of an investigation into his financial and business dealings.
Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney David Weiss — who was previously appointed special counsel in the Biden investigation — filed federal firearm charges against the president’s son, saying that he lied about his drug use on a form submitted when he bought a revolver that he briefly owned in 2018. He had been expected to admit to lying on the form while pleading guilty to a pair of misdemeanor tax charges over the summer, but the deal fell apart while Biden was appearing before a judge in July.
Last week, an attorney for Biden indicated in a letter filed in court that he planned to plead not guilty to the federal gun charges.