Hunter Biden Laptop Leaker Sues Twitter for $500 Million
Computer repair store owner John Paul Mac Isaac files lawsuit against social media giant
The Delaware computer repair store owner, who leaked the hard drive from Hunter Biden's infamous "Laptop from Hell," has filed a $500 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter.
John Paul Mac Isaac was handed Hunter Biden's laptops for repair in April 2019 but the owner abandoned the damaged computers and never returned to collect them.
After discovering disturbing material on the hard drive, Mac Isaac handed the machines to the FBI and gave a copy of the contents to lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Material from the drive, including bombshell emails, was then leaked to the press, exposing potential illegal activity and corrupt foreign business dealings.
Now Mac Isaac is suing Twitter for defamation, claiming moderators falsely labeled him a hacker.
Mac Isaac is seeking $500M in damages from Twitter after The New York Post's story about Joe Biden's son, obtained from the 50-year-old's laptop, was labeled as potentially coming from hacked material.
In the run-up to the election, Facebook and Twitter both restricted viewing of the Post's damaging story, and Twitter pointed to its ban on posting "hacked materials" as an explanation.
Mac Isaac claims, according to The Verge, that Twitter specifically made this decision to "communicate to the world that [Mac Isaac] is a hacker."
He says that his business began to receive threats and negative reviews after Twitter's moderation decision and that he is "now widely considered a hacker" because of Twitter.
Earlier this month Mac Isaac, 44, released a YouTube video hitting back at the claims, that he himself was a Russian hacker, insisting it was "absurd" that anyone could believe he was a Russian agent and that he was a "proud" American.
He added that the saga has had "an irreversible impact on my business and my character."
Hunter left three damaged Apple laptops at Mac Isaac's shop in April 2019 but never returned or paid the $85 bill for recovering the data from them.
Mac Isaac handed over the laptops to both Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's lawyer, and to the FBI, in the fall.
The New York Post began publishing the private details in October after Giuliani passed them along.
The laptop contained a series of emails, as well as personal photos.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has always insisted that he had no knowledge of, or involvement in, Hunter's businesses.
But the emails made oblique references to payments to "the big guy" - which has later been confirmed by the family's business partners as being Joe Biden.
Mac Isaac is not complaining that Twitter removed content, and he is not claiming other people defamed him through Twitter - an accusation made by Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who lost his suit.
His suit, the site reported, is similar to that of conservative activist Laura Loomer, who sued Facebook for banning her under a "dangerous individuals" policy, in a case that was dismissed in August.
Twitter's decision to block the content created an uproar among supporters of Donald Trump, and the social media company a day later reversed course and ruled that the Post's reporting did not violate its "hacked materials" policy.
Jack Dorsey, the Twitter founder and CEO, was grilled by Congress on October 28 and again on November 17 about the decision to flag the Post's story, and both times said it had been a mistake.
"We made a quick interpretation using no other evidence that the materials in the article were obtained through hacking, and according to our policy, we blocked them from being spread," Dorsey testified.
"Upon further consideration, we admitted this action was wrong and corrected it within 24 hours."
Hunter's emails have been described by many as "a smoking gun."
On December 5, Mac Isaac posted a three-minute video on YouTube which he titled "The Truth" and said he wanted to "disprove any of the rumors and speculations regarding my actions and my character."
"I am proud of my family, proud of my country, and proud to be an American."
He said being called a hacker was "a death sentence in my industry."
"For the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, a hacker - those guys make so much more than I do," he said.
When Mac Isaac was revealed to be the man who handed Hunter's laptops over, in October, he said he feared being murdered.
On a tape recording of his lengthy interview with the Daily Beast's reporter, he equivocated over how he and the FBI came to be in touch in fall 2019.
He said first that he had got in touch with the FBI but also said: "They approached me."
"I was afraid, I reached out to some people that I trusted, that could possibly get me in touch with the FBI," he said. "Then they showed up."
The people were not political, he said but declined to comment on how he came to know them.
Before the FBI came he made a copy to "protect myself," he said but said he was not aware that there were any other copies.
The laptop had suffered water damage, and Mac Isaac was able to retrieve the data from it and image the contents on to a separate hard drive.
In the course of doing that, he said that he saw its contents, saying that "it was a mess."
Mac Isaac said he had acted to pass on the laptop to Giuliani because he feared being killed because of what was in his possession saying: "I'm pretty vocal about not wanting to get murdered."
"Did you genuinely think Joe Biden would put your life in danger?" he was asked.
"People that work for him, sure," he replied.