hunter biden sued Rudy Giuliani and his former attorney on Tuesday, alleging they hacked and manipulated data on an external hard drive associated with his laptop.
Giuliani and attorney Robert Costello have frequently acknowledged accessing data on the hard drive. The lawsuit accuses them of having “spent an extraordinary amount of time and energy searching for, hacking, altering, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over the data they were given that was taken or stolen.”
Giuliani has tried to portray Hunter Biden as a corrupt businessman who profited from his father’s political power. He and Costello have said they were provided the hard drive in 2020 by a Delaware computer repair shop owner, who claims Hunter Biden dropped off the laptop the previous year and never returned to get it back. In May, Hunter Biden alsoowner, John Paul Mac Isaac, who denied wrongdoing and said he obtained the laptop legally.
The lawsuit against Giuliani and Costello claims they used Hunter Biden’s username to access his data, make copies and share it with allies like Steve Bannon.
Giuliani and Costello did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The data led to a steady drip of revelations about Hunter Biden’s often tortured personal life and jet-setting professional life. The emails and images allegedly extracted from data from Hunter Biden’s laptop have generated countless headlines in conservative media and accusations of Republican corruption.
But the lawsuit claims some of the data was “altered, manipulated” and “altered.”
The lawsuit cites statements Giuliani made on a podcast and on his late-night YouTube show, in which he boasted about his access to the data.
“This belongs to Hunter Biden,” Giuliani said, while holding a laptop during a Feb. 2, 2023, episode of “America’s Mayor Live.”
“He proceeded to brag that he copied (Hunter Biden’s) data onto his own computer and that he accessed, analyzed and manipulated the transferred data,” according to the lawsuit.
Last year, Brian Della Rocca, Mac Isaac’s attorney, provided CBS News with what he called an “exact copy” of the laptop data his client provided to federal investigators in 2019.
An independent analysis, conducted by two cyber investigators from Minneapolis-based Computer Forensics Services, found no evidence that user data had been modified, fabricated or manipulated. But some versions of the hard drive that later circulated appeared to have had data added after April 2019, a sign that it may have been tampered with, according to reports from other media outlets, including The Washington Post.
The lawsuit is the latest move in a month-long effort by Hunter Biden’s legal team to aggressively fight his Republican antagonists. In February, his attorney, Abbe Lowell, sent letters to 14 prominent Republican media personalities and former officials who had accused Hunter Biden of corruption or disseminated material that allegedly came from the laptop. Lowell’s letter served “notice that a stay of litigation should be in effect for the preservation and retention” of his records related to Hunter Biden.
They have since sued Mac Isaac, the IRS, a former Trump White House aide, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to former President Donald Trump’s legal team, alleging defamation.
The lawsuit against Giuliani comes amid mounting legal problems for both Giuliani and Hunter Biden.by a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury on August 15, along with former President Donald Trump and 17 others, and charged with engaging in a “criminal enterprise” while attempting to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 presidential election. .
One month after,by a federal grand jury on charges related to his alleged purchase of a firearm in October 2018 while allegedly using drugs. The indictment came after a plea deal between the government and Hunter Biden’s lawyers fell through in July regarding his tax and a diversion deal on a firearms charge.
Giuliani and Hunter Biden have pleaded not guilty in their respective cases and deny any wrongdoing.
Giuliani and Costello had been close friends for nearly half a century, a bond that appeared to suddenly fracture when Costello sued Giuliani on September 19. Costello, who has represented Giuliani in a variety of criminal and civil matters, claimed in the lawsuit that Giuliani owes his law firm nearly $1.4 million in unpaid legal fees.
Giuliani told CBS News that Costello’s lawsuit “harmed him personally.” Costello responded by saying Giuliani had taken “the low road.”