Hunter Biden's lawyer Abbe Lowell has sent letters to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Delaware Department of Justice to request investigations of specific individuals regarding what was referred to as "considerable reason to believe [they] violated various federal laws in accessing, copying, manipulating, and/or disseminating Mr. Biden's personal computer data."
The letters served as an apparent acknowledgement that the computer in the much-talked-about saga of Hunter Biden's laptop belonged to U.S. President Joe Biden's son. One news headline highlighted this item, and read, "Hunter Biden finally admits infamous laptop is his as he pleads for criminal probe."
The Associated Press reported that the requests for the investigations were happening as Hunter Biden faced a DOJ investigation of his own involving tax evasion.
The subject of the laptop first surfaced with a New York Post story in October 2020. "It was swiftly seized on by Trump as a campaign issue during the presidential election that year," the AP published.
In August 2022, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told podcaster Joe Rogan that the tech giant had initially censored the initial reporting from the New York Post after receiving a general warning from the FBI.
Fast forward to February 2023, and we're now at the latest chapter of this long-running story:
The letter, signed by prominent Washington attorney Abbe Lowell, seeks an investigation into, among others, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, Trump's longtime lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani's own attorney and the Wilmington computer repair shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, who has said Hunter Biden dropped a laptop off at his store in April 2019 and never returned to pick it up.
The letter cites passages from Mac Isaac's book in which he admitted reviewing private and sensitive material from Biden's laptop, including a file titled "income.pdf." It notes that Mac Isaac sent a copy of the laptop data to Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello, who in turn shared it with Giuliani, a close ally of Trump's who at the time was pushing discredited theories about the younger Biden.
Giuliani provided the information to a reporter at the New York Post, which first wrote about the laptop, and also to Bannon, according to the letter. Hunter Biden never consented to any of his personal information being accessed or shared in that manner, his lawyer says.
In response to the letters, Giuliani pointed to the terms of the laptop shop's quote sheet about what the store can do if an item is abandoned.
John Paul Mac Isaac, the shop's owner, declined comment after The AP reached out. We also attempted to contact Steve Bannon through his "War Room" website and will update this story should we receive any further responses.
In addition to the two letters sent to federal and state DOJ staff, attorneys for Hunter Biden also sent separate letters to the Internal Revenue Service and to Tucker Carlson at Fox News.
The IRS letter asked for a review of the tax-exempt status of one named person.
Meanwhile, the letter to Carlson and Fox News accused the organization of "false and defamatory statements" about Hunter Biden. That fourth letter began as follows:
We represent Hunter Biden, Esq., in connection with the false and defamatory statements made by Mr. Carlson on his show on the Fox News Network ("Fox News") about Mr. Biden paying "rent" to his father, President Joseph Biden, in what Mr. Carlson implied was essentially a money laundering scheme to finance President Biden's lifestyle prior to his election as President after legitimately defeating Donald Trump and alluding to Mr. Biden having unauthorized access to classified documents because of his presence at President Biden's house. Furthermore, Fox News encouraged, consented to, and ratified Mr. Carlson's conduct by, among other things, continuing to spread the false and defamatory "rent" story through other Fox News commentators and failing to issue any corrections once the story was known to be false and/or entirely unsupported. Notably, other conservative news outlets have already retracted the so‐called "rent" story, including the very news story by The Daily Caller used in one of Fox News' broadcasts. We demand that you immediately retract these statements by spending a significant of amount of air‐time on such retraction, for example, stating the assertions made were wrong and what other media (e.g., Glen Kessler of The Washington Post) have now reported indicating the falsity of the allegations.
We reached out to Fox News for comment and will update this story if we receive a response.
In previous reporting, we published a story about the fact that an email found on Hunter Biden's laptop revealed that Carlson once asked him for his help to get his son into Georgetown University. That help included writing a letter of recommendation.
Note: All four letters can be read on Axios.com. They only constitute requests and do not mean any investigations will be opened.