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Twitter sued for libel by repairman of Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop

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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.

“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,” Mac Issac’s attorney.

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.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Screen Shot 2024 03 13 at 9.50.09 AM
Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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