The Delaware computer repairman who alerted authorities to the existence of Hunter Biden’s laptop sued on Tuesday Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, CNN, the Daily Beast and Politico, claiming that he suffered financial and reputational damage after they alleged that the leak was Russian disinformation.
Business owner John Paul Mac Isaac filed for the suit, he told the New York Post, because his livelihood was significantly disrupted by tech platforms, mainstream media, and Delaware locals after he turned in the laptop, which would eventually become the subject of a federal investigation.
“After fighting to reveal the truth, all I want now is for the rest of the country to know that there was a collective and orchestrated effort by social and mainstream media to block a real story with real consequences for the nation,” Mac Isaac told the Post.
“This was collusion led by 51 former pillars in the intelligence community and backed by words and actions of a politically motivated DOJ and FBI,” he added. “I want this lawsuit to reveal that collusion and more importantly, who gave the marching orders.”
Mac Isaac said he came into possession of the laptop when President Biden’s son Hunter dropped it off at his shop for repairs in April 2019 and never came back to claim it. Authorities have since unearthed questionable content on the device relating to Hunter’s foreign business dealings and the president’s knowledge of them. The store owner first gave the laptop hard drive to the FBI in December 2019 and then to former head of the Trump campaign legal team Rudy Giuliani, who provided a copy of the hard drive to The Post.
After the story surfaced in October 2020 right before the presidential election, Twitter and Facebook made a concerted effort to bury it and censored the Post’s article, arguing it was unsubstantiated and illegitimate reporting. Biden and over 50 former intelligence officials smeared the laptop revelation as part of a Russian disinformation operation. Over a year later, the New York Times and the Washington Post finally confirmed the story after dismissing it as unsubstantiated for months. Hunter Biden had previously admitted that the laptop did in fact belong to him.
Some Republicans have argued that the early tech and liberal media suppression of the story misled the public and may have effected the results of the 2020 election. Mac Isaac said he suffered great harm as a result of the conduct of the social media companies after the story went live.
“Twitter initially labeled my action hacking, so for the first day after my information was leaked, I was bombarded with hate mail and death threats revolving around the idea that I was a hacker, a thief and a criminal,” he told The Post. Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, “has some explaining” to do after he rejected the new information outright back in October 2020 in what looks like an act of political favoritism, Mac Isaac noted.
“Without any intel, the head of the intel committee decided to share with CNN and its viewers a complete and utter lie,” Mac Isaac said. “A lie issued in the protection of a preferred presidential candidate.”
Mac Isaac alleges that Schiff and those around him unfairly labeled him a prop of the Russian regime for submitting the laptop to the FBI. The lawsuit includes a defamation allegation stemming from Schiff’s interview with CNN two days after The Post broke the story, during which he claimed Moscow was involved.
“Well we know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin. That’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about the Vice President and his son,” Schiff told CNN host Wolf Blitzer, according to the suit.
“The fight to get to the bottom of who told everyone this was Russian disinformation is far more important for the nation than me clearing my name,” Mac Isaac said. The suit names CNN for knowingly publicizing the “false and defamatory story” that the laptop was part of a Russian subversion plot.
“CNN’s broadcast of the false statement accuses the Plaintiff of committing an infamous crime, i.e., treason by working with the Russians to commit a crime against the United States of America by attempting to undermine American democracy and the 2020 Presidential election,” the suit states.
Mac Isaac also claims the Daily Beast and Politico deliberately misconstrued the story and his actions in two articles they published online.
As a result of the false accusations, Mac Isaac says he faced intimidation and hostility at his business. He shut down the shop after people started throwing vegetables, eggs and dog excrement at his store, he told the Post. Mac Isaac is seeking “at least $1 million in compensatory damages [and] punitive damages which will be the much bigger number and will be determined at trial,” his lawyer Brian Della Rocca confirmed to the publication.