Twitter sued for libel by repairman of Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop
The former Delaware computer repair shop owner who says he obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop sued Twitter for a second time over how the social media platform handled a New York Post exposé on President Joe Biden‘s son, Hunter Biden, alleging the tech company defamed him by implying he was a hacker, The Washington Examiner reported Friday.
On Thursday, John Paul Mac Isaac filed his lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida. He claims in the suit that he was forced to shut down his business, in part, because Twitter labeled the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop as being hacked materials, which he denied, and he said had damaged his reputation, as reported.
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment to SaraACarter.com on the latest Mac Isaac lawsuit.
The previous lawsuit, also alleging defamation and demanding $500 million in damages, was filed in the same court and tossed out by a judge in late December due to lack of jurisdiction. In his new case, according to The Examiner, Mac Isaac attempts to bypass the jurisdiction issue, with him also saying that there had been defamation damages greater than $75,000 and that the exact award amount could be determined after a trial.
Additionally, Mac Isaac asked Twitter to “make a public retraction of all false statements and to issue a public apology” to him, according to the publication.
“Plaintiff is not a hacker and the information obtained from the computer does not constitute hacked materials because Plaintiff lawfully gained access to the computer, first with the permission of its owner, Biden, and then, after Biden failed to retrieve the recovered data despite Plaintiff’s reuses, in accordance with the Mac Shop’s abandoned property policy,” Mac Isaac’s lawyer argued in the first lawsuit. “Plaintiff, as a direct result of Defendant Twitter’s actions and statements, is now widely considered a hacker.”
In the October New York Post exposé, the publication reported that it had obtained a copy of a laptop and hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden from Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for then-President Donald Trump. Giuliani, according to The Examiner, alleged that he received the hard drive from Mac Isaac’s repair shop, with Mac Isaac having also said that he also provided a copy to the FBI after Hunter Biden had dropped it off for repairs in April 2019.
Hunter Biden, it should be noted, has not denied ownership over the hard drive.
Specifically, the exposé reported that emails presented proof of a possible meeting between then-Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden, and high-ranking executive at a Ukrainian energy firm called Burisma, which President Biden denies occurring as illustrated in the exposé. On top of that, The Post also reported on the younger Biden’s financial dealings with suspicious foreign nationals, especially Chinese ones.
Biden’s campaign and many in the media dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as being part of a Russian disinformation operation, as The Examiner pointed out, though then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that “there is no intelligence that supports that … Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”
When The Post tried to share its reports to Twitter, the social media giant alleged that the publication violated its “hacked” materials policy by posting them.
“Twitter knew or should have known that its statement that the New York Post’s story contained hacked materials would cause harm to the Plaintiff,” Mac Isaac’s lawyer argued, according to The Examiner. “The statements allege that Plaintiff committed crimes including (but not limited to) computer hacking of the son of the Democratic Party nominee, now President, Joe Biden. The implication of an attempt to undermine American democracy and the 2020 presidential election is obvious.”
In late December, Judge Beth Bloom, a federal court judge in Florida, swiftly threw out Mac Isaac’s first lawsuit, saying: “The Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction […] The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff is a resident of Delaware and that Defendant is a Delaware corporation with an office in Dade County, Florida. […] The Complaint fails to allege complete diversity.”
In his latest lawsuit, according to The Examiner, Mac Isaac said he now lives in Colorado as he filed the lawsuit in Florida, arguing Twitter operates in Florida, has Florida offices, and caused injury to Mac Isaac while doing business in the Sunshine State.
Moreover, his lawsuit was also filed against MadBits LLC, alleging that it “exists solely to allow Defendant Twitter to operate its business and employ employees in the State of Florida,” per The Examiner. The case argued that “Twitter’s actions and statements had the specific intent to communicate to its users, including its Florida resident users, that Plaintiff is a hacker and/or hacked the published materials.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.