“Dirty Political Trick”: Hunter Biden Calls for Criminal Investigations of Critics and Media

Below is my column in the New York Post on the letters sent by Hunter Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell calling for criminal investigations, the removal of tax exempt status, and other measures targeting critics and media. It also appears to confirm that the laptop is indeed Hunter’s. However, the next day, Lowell told NBC “These letters do not confirm Mac Isaac’s or others’ versions of a so-called laptop.” It is a curious position when asking for criminal investigations like asking police to look for people who may or may not have stolen a car that may or may not be yours. The defamation and privacy claims suggested in the letter are dubious and ill-defined. However, Hunter is apparently asking for money to pay for his high-priced legal team. It is not clear if these donations would also be used to fund his cruel and craven effort to prevent his daughter from using his surname. Nevertheless, Hunter is outraged that the computer that he abandoned has been used for what his lawyer calls “this failed dirty political trick.”

Here is the column:

Hunter Biden appears to have finally achieved clarity.

Months after The Post’s October 2020 reporting, Biden was warning reporters that his “alleged” laptop might be Russian disinformation — or it might be his. He seemed tortured by doubt in a 2021 CBS News interview: “For real, I don’t know. I don’t have any idea — I have no idea whether or not.”

It now appears he does know “for real.” His lawyers sent letters Wednesday requesting investigations into figures associated with former President Donald Trump who have used information from the laptop. The first son’s sudden shift to the offense follows a meeting of a Legion of Doom of Democratic operatives reportedly planning attacks on potential witnesses against Hunter.

At the same time, Biden agents are planning to create a large legal fund for the next stage. In a city where influence peddling is the leading industry, Hunter’s plight could easily become a cause célèbre. Indeed, there hasn’t been a greater sense of urgency or outpouring of humanity since the Kato Kaelin housing crisis.

The letters to federal and state prosecutors seem to confirm the plan for a scorched-earth strategy. The Biden lawyers accuse people using the laptop contents of possibly violating federal and state laws “in accessing, copying, manipulating, and/or disseminating Mr. Biden’s personal computer data.”

The Biden team is also threatening media that have covered the story, including Fox News, with defamation lawsuits. (For the record, I appear as a legal analyst on Fox News.) And it’s asking the IRS to consider removing the tax-exempt status of groups that used the material such as Marco Polo, a charitable organization run by Garrett Ziegler — in a letter copied to the agency’s criminal investigation unit chief.

The letters raise serious constitutional and political concerns. Critics using publicly available material are allowed to reach their own conclusions about the implications of these files.

The Biden team, for example, threatens a lawsuit against Fox News host Tucker Carlson while demanding a retraction of “false and defamatory statements.” It maintains Carlson falsely portrayed Hunter Biden as involved in a “money laundering scheme to finance President Biden’s lifestyle” by paying him $50,000 a month in rent. It claims the story was debunked.

But Hunter Biden is a public figure who must shoulder a high standard for defamation of “actual malice,” requiring that a false statement be made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.” Courts are highly protective of the exercise of opinion, particularly on subjects of great political significance like influence peddling.

The laptop’s legal status is also key. To all appearances, Hunter abandoned the laptop at John Paul Mac Isaac’s Wilmington, Del., computer repair shop. That’s different from the claims of Hunter’s sister, Ashley, who triggered a nationwide FBI investigation into the theft of her diary. While she left her diary at a third party’s home, she insists she did not abandon or forget it. Under standard terms of the agreement, an item left beyond a certain number of days at a business or rental housing becomes abandoned property. It can generally then be left on the curb, sold, or given away. In this case, Hunter signed an agreement that he would forfeit all claims of ownership if he failed to retrieve his property from the shop.

What’s most striking about the Hunter Biden claim is the delay. For more than two years, Hunter has refused to admit the laptop is genuine despite email recipients confirming the content of the communications. The laptop also shows Hunter engaged in potential crimes from drug use to prostitution offenses. Yet he insisted it might all be those pesky Russians again.

Now the laptop is his, and he is fighting mad. Indeed, he’s shocked that anyone would treat his property in this fashion — a property he left at a computer shop and failed to claim for years.

In the effort to target Marco Polo, the Biden team insists it “has operated as little more than a thinly disguised political operation to attack the Biden administration and the Biden family.” That sounds more vindictive than virtuous. Indeed, if the Biden administration started yanking the tax-exempt status of Biden critics, it would trigger an outcry over weaponizing the IRS. (A similar controversy during the Obama-Biden administration involving IRS official Lois Lerner led to a financial settlement with targeted conservative groups.)

Biden’s team seems at points as conflicted as its client. After denouncing the use of his personal property and files, it suggests they might not be his files at all. It claims that “downstream recipients of what has been purported to be Mr. Biden’s hard drive have reported anomalies in the data, suggesting manipulation of it.”

You certainly do not want to be downstream in any Hunter Biden scandal, but this raises questions as to whether these files are authentic while claiming ownership of them.

Notably, Biden has not brought a civil lawsuit for a privacy tort claim despite the bluster and bombast of these letters. The reason is simple: He does not have a privacy case against the media or critics.

Under the tort of “public disclosure of embarrassing private facts,” you can be sued for publishing even true statements that a reasonable person would find offensive. Showing Hunter’s selfie videos allegedly having sex with prostitutes would qualify as embarrassing to most people. But the tort has an exception for “newsworthy” stories or matters of great public interest. Biden may not be the energy or transportation expert his previous positions suggest, but he is most certainly newsworthy.

What is clear is that the letters mark a new chapter in this saga as his legal team attempts to move from the hunted to the Hunter.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and a professor at George Washington University Law School.


205 thoughts on ““Dirty Political Trick”: Hunter Biden Calls for Criminal Investigations of Critics and Media”

  1. If Hunter impregnated the widow instead of the stripper, that child could’ve been Beau Beau Biden-Biden I.

  2. I believe this corruption scandal is so big and involving so many globally, that no one would have ever put it all together without Hunter Biden’s laptop. And putting it all together by some terrific investigative journalists like Miranda Devine and John Solomon. Reporting on this by Dan Bongino and Tucker Carlson has no doubt led to the panic we are now seeing. They are like a wake-homing torpedo that never runs out of fuel. And it appears they are directly under the target.

    We’ve seen the Treasury Department stonewall the release of the Suspicious Activity Reports requested by House Republicans. Now why would they do that? I wouldn’t normally provide a link to the entire 1 hour Bongino podcast, but the last 2 days have been riveting. Actually, the last few weeks have been exceptionally revealing. His show Saturday evening will be laying this all out. As the saying goes. Follow the Money.

    The Ukrainian oligarch whom the Biden administration banned from the United States this month previously had overlapping financial interests with President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, according to government documents and earlier news reports.

    Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian billionaire known for hardball actions against competing companies, is a former government official in Ukraine and also used to be an owner of one of that nation’s largest financial institutions, PrivatBank.

    After the Obama Justice Department launched its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative a decade ago to prosecute corruption in other countries, the State Department, Justice Department and FBI outsourced some of its work in Ukraine to groups funded by Soros.

    The Hungarian-American businessman is one of the largest donors to American liberal causes, a champion of the U.S. kleptocracy crackdown and a man with extensive business interests in Ukraine.

    One key U.S. partner was AntAC, which received 59 percent (or $1 million) of its nearly $1.7 million budget since 2012 from U.S. budgets tied to State and Justice, and nearly $290,000 from Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation, according to the group’s donor disclosure records.

      1. And which lies would those be ?

        Seems every time were turn arround some “right wing conspiracy” turns out to be True.

        So there were no Russian Bots interfering in the 2016 election. The government identified Bots were actually real americans that were being Censored.


  3. More and more as time goes by I see the correlation between the threats of the Mob bosses and the threats of the Biden Administration. For now it’s just the threat of bankruptcy if you continue to expose Hunter and Joe. No one should be surprised if concrete galoshes are to follow. At least the Mob kept their warnings private. A remake of the story untouchables should be made to tell the true story of the Bidens. Al Capone ain’t got nothen on Joe the Don. Capeesh?

    1. More and more as time goes by I see the correlation between the threats of the Mob bosses and the threats of the Biden Administration.

      TiT, I agree completely. Interestingly, Dan Bongino is having a former mobster on his program this Saturday saying how the government and the mob are the same, tactically.

  4. So when does the trial begin?
    If the data is correct LE picks up a lot of people for a lot less.
    But would that preclude what he might have done that’s worse.

  5. “It’s time to stop talkin’ and start chalkin’!”

    – Chick Hearn, Lakers Sportscaster

    America is sufficiently well informed by direct evidence of the illicit machinations of the Biden Crime Family.

    The flaws in the American judicial system that allow the guilty to escape their due penalties must be rectified.

    1. George–It’s flying over Kansas right now. Maybe Dorothy can click her red heels together and make it go away??

      1. Originally, Dorothy’s shoes were silver against a gold/yellow brick road in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

        It was an allegory of oblique supplication by dependents and parasites who refused to take advantage of their freedom to become fully self reliant, blaming others for their failures.

        The Wizard of Oz was populist propaganda; the Wizard of Oz was communist propaganda.

        The underlying message was to penalize achievement and transform the government into a charitable organization that takes from the achievers and gives to the idling, unsuccessful freeloaders and leeches.

        Charity is a private function of NGOs and churches, distinctly and constitutionally not Congress and the government.

        “You are taking a populist journey in search of a new political order that replaces the power of industrial capitalists with a farmer-workers alliance.”

        – Michael Genovese

        “Capitalist” was a pejorative coined by Marx to describe free people engaged in free enterprise in free markets that are driven by competition which continually cycles the successful.

        “What is the ideology of Populists?”

        “A common framework for interpreting populism is known as the ideational approach: this defines populism as an ideology which presents “the people” as a morally good force and contrasts them against “the elite”, who are portrayed as corrupt and self-serving.”

        – Wiki



        plural noun: populists

        a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

        “he ran as a populist on an anticorruption platform”



        1. George OT….but most important: where did they get that color film for The Wizard of Oz when David Selnick had hoarded it all making GWTW released that same year (1939)?

  6. dEAR pROF Turley,

    In case you didn’t get the memo “You don’t f*(k with a Biden”

    *if there ain’t no tort for that, they’ll just make a new one.

  7. C’mon Turley.

    Here’s the obvious issue.
    Hunter’s laptop is the legal property of the shop owner after Hunter forfeited it.
    Thus the contents ala data is also his property.

    As to their allegations and threatening letters, if they now say that it may or may not be his laptop but attempt to lay claim to the data, then they should be sanctioned by the courts. Assuming of course they attempt to move forward.

    Then there’s the other issue.
    If the DoJ or Delaware’s AG does anything.
    That would open them up to an abuse of power and potential litigation not only against the state but themselves as individuals.

    Seems the lawyers did something where like typical democrats they didn’t think things through.


  8. So, now it’s proper for the criminal son of a sitting president to call on his father’s law enforcement subordinates to investigate American citizens deemed by the family to be a threat?

      1. But he has protections none of us have and I am not talking about his safety. You are so one sided, one day you are going to fall and scream, ‘help, I can’t get up.’

    1. “K” Street is the very embodiment of unconstitutionality in physical form.

      Its denizens, accomplices of high criminals, one and all.

  9. Hunter has never said that any of the information on his laptop has been manipulated. There are those who post on this blog who still write that the laptop has been tampered with. I can recall when Hunter said that the laptop might be his that these same pontificators claimed that the laptop was not authentic. Even now when Hunter admits that the laptop is his these same posters are peddling the manipulation conspiracy theory. Let me explain what is not based on reality. It is their need deep inside their cranial cavity to have their derangement confirmed. Their entire world revolves around this need. Some might call it crazy and others might just say it’s wakkadoodle. Both would be correct in their assessment. It’s too late but we have to understand their just trying to keep themselves from going further off the deep end. It’s a pity.

    1. @ThinkitThrough

      The argument is being made by the lawyers as they backtrack their original statements.

      They attempted to walk back their faux pas yet press their argument which makes it more nonsensical.

      There has to be more to this than meets the eye.

      If the Delaware AG steps in… wow. That would be a pop-corn event.
      If they weren’t Dems… that would be an instant sanction and potential loss of law license.

  10. OT: We can see what the hardliners like ATS are fighting for.

    “Resolution denouncing ‘horrors and failures of socialism’ passes despite no votes from 86 Democrats

    Socialism “fails wherever it has been tried, and we don’t want it” in the United States, …According to the text of the resolution, socialism has “repeatedly led to famine and mass murders,” killing of over 100 million people worldwide.”


    1. Harry Truman:
      Taft explained that the great issue in this campaign is “creeping socialism.” Now that is the patented trademark of the special interest lobbies. Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.

      Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security.

      Socialism is what they called farm price supports.

      Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.

      Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.

      Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.

      When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan “Down With Socialism” on the banner of his “great crusade,” that is really not what he means at all.

      What he really means is, “Down with Progress–down with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal,” and “down with Harry Truman’s fair Deal.” That is what he means.

      1. Some refuse to use their brains. Was the depression shortened or lengthened by The New Deal?

        In1939, when confirming the failure of the New Deal, Henry Morgenthau, Roosevelt’s treasury secretary, confirmed the total failure of the New Deal to stop the Great Depression: “We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. . . . I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!”

        That mistake was a bad understanding of economics while elsewhere the mistakes of socialism brought starvation and death.

    1. Ohhhh, I wondered if the shop owner would sue because Hunter claimed the laptop was stolen or a fraud. There is no way a small business owner could afford to sue a Biden, without serious financial support from backers.

      I thought the small business owner was helpless to do anything about it, because lawsuits are so expensive and the Biden’s have bottomless pockets.

      Good for him. I’m glad to hear he’s filed a lawsuit.

      1. Lawsuits aren’t expensive if the legal team is getting something in return like contingency fees or great PR. Good for the store owner. It’s apparent that Hunter’s drug addict arse is in the cross hairs. He deserves every bit of damage thrown at him … and his lying grease ball father

    2. Yo! Abbott… (I mean Costello)

      The truth shall set ye free.
      At least it’s a good defense for the lawsuits.
      Of course these suits go away after you go and depose Hunter… then subpoena the FBI since they too have a copy of the evidence.

      Too funny, no?

  11. Broke my New Years Resolution of reading anything by Professor Turley about Hunter Biden. The reference to “Kato Kaitlin’s housing crisis” was worth it

    (As for the legal issue, doesn’t this get thrown out of court ipso facto, per se, nolo contrende or one of those Latin legal things before the ink’s even dry on the clerk’s stamp? Apparently the strategy is simply for the PR. Is it ethical for a lawyer to make such claims or requests simply for the PR… ethical in the sense of “grounds for disbarment”.)

  12. Of course Hunter demanded the US government target his adversaries. It’s worked before.

    Drug addicted, unqualified Hunter was given multimillion dollar employment as an executive in Ukrainian oil and gas company, Burisma. Burisma was under investigation in Ukraine. Coincidentally, Joe Biden bragged on camera about a quid pro quo in which he withheld all US aid to Ukraine unless the prosecutor was fired. The prosecutor investigating Burisma was immediately fired.

    If Hunter could allegedly cause the withholding of US aid to a foreign nation, why wouldn’t he think his father could target those investigating and reporting on his influence peddling schemes using government agencies?

    Intelligence officials already went on record, in signed statements, and lied, saying it was Russian disinformation in order to get his father elected. The media already censored the story, and publishers, to help him. Hunter Biden is like Harvey Weinstein, with the power of the US government behind him. He allegedly withheld pay unless his employee performed, and recorded, sexual favors for him. Yet, Democrats say what a poor guy, a victim of drug addiction.

    The government already targeted those who revealed Hunter’s alleged illegal activities, some of which implicated his father. The question is, will the government keep targeting civilians to protect Democrats in power.

    1. Karen S.
      IMHO, I think it was the, “He allegedly withheld pay unless his employee performed, and recorded, sexual favors for him.” is what is driving this.
      Use the scorched earth method (sorry, did I say, “meth?”) as intimidation to silence any and everyone.

    2. Karen S: you know, if I wanted Hannity’s take on the phony ‘Hunter Biden Scandal”, I’d just watch his program regularly. Didn’t read your little piece of excrement, either. It’s Friday. I have better things to do.

      1. Or maybe we could just deal with the facts.

        Those are pretty daming.

        The laptops are not “russian disinformation” – Even Hunter has admitted they are his now.

        The contents are damning – to Joe – at the same time in many cases they merely corroborate what John Solomon found years earlier.

  13. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Biden, joe, has been a slime-ball grifter all his life and his son is his doppleganger. How the h*ll we ended up with such a sleazy, deceptive and morally deficient thug as president only bespeaks the sad state of our society. Shame on those who enabled this. NOTHING Trump could ever have done could equal what history will disclose about this man and his spawn.

  14. weird how the bidens are never arrested for the many crimes…it is like the DOJ is 100% corrupt for Democrats

  15. given the corrupt nature of DC, DOJ, IRS, FBI, etc I am sure they will put in jail with the Jan 6th protestors!

    DOJ is 100% CORRUPT

  16. A lot of people are trying to make an issue of the fact the hard drive was copied. This is standard operating procedure on any drive, whether in a computer or separate brought in for repair. You never attempt any repair on a dive without a complete image of the original for the purposes of data integrity. You also generally o not dispose of that image until the repair is complete and the customer signs off that the work is completed to satisfaction. A savvy repair guy will even hang on to it for a few days afterward to make sure they don’t come back to complain after the fact.

    I’ve got HD images from back in the day I did repair work going back years laying around. More than once I was asked to retrieve something.

    1. CurrentSitGuy,
      Right you are.
      I use Clonezilla for my back ups when migrating from one box to a newer one.
      And then I still go in and do a comparison of folders and files to verify the cloning was accurate and complete.
      Trust but verify.

      1. Yup. Spending the weekend migrating an Exchange Server to a larger drive. 1st Step is to clone the drive in case it goes wrong.

      1. The shop owner did get permission.
        When HB signed the terms of service (and the acknowledgement of abandonment of property after a given time period), that is exactly what he agreed to.
        It is SOP to copy the HD in case of catastrophic failure to keep the data secure.

          1. Yes.
            I spent a number of years in IT, not as long as CurrentSitGuy, but long enough to know if you are going to be doing repairs to hardware, or doing a migration from one box to another, back everything thing up.

        1. We don’t know that HB is the person who signed that receipt. But let’s assume he did. If you bothered to read the Terms, you’d find that the agreement says “Equipment left with the Mac Shop after 90 days of notification of completed service will be treated as abandoned and you agree to hold the Mac Shop harmless for any damages or loss of property in the event of nonpayment.” First, that says that he’d be notified. But he wasn’t notified, and what kind of store owner fails to get the person’s contact info, knowing that he’d need to contact the person? Second, it says that the store owner is held harmless for damage or loss, NOT that the store owner takes ownership and can do whatever he wants with it. It’s not SOP to give a hard drive copy to people who have no business having it, especially when the hard drive itself has been given to the FBI.

          1. You are clearly unfamiliar with a story the details of which have been available for a long time.

            Issac’s notifed Hunter – repeatedly. Biden’s lawyers were even contacted.

            Hunter has admitted the laptops are his.
            Regardless, someone in posession of the Laptop’s delivered them to Issac’s for repairs.
            There is a legal presumption that if you posss something it is your property.
            That may not always be true, but it is sufficient fo the Store owner.
            Regardless, Hunter actually came back 2 days after dropping the laptops off – there were 3, and bought a keyboard.
            Further A copy of the contents were provided to the FBI,
            Later to the Senate, and Finally to Gulliani

          2. Obviously you have never run a business.

            “What kind of …”
            Pretty much all of them.

            It is extremely rare to keep things that are left with you forever in the hopes someone might claim them.
            There is a cost to keeping and storing things.
            Often they are auctioned,
            Or thrown out.
            Presumably you are away of abandoned property laws.
            “It’s not SOP to give a hard drive copy to people who have no business having it, especially when the hard drive itself has been given to the FBI.”

            Nope, that is pretty much noraml SOP.

            If as a computer repair shop owner you have legal concerns – you provide the HD to law enforcement.

            The Laptops were given to Issac’s to “repair” the Hard Drives – the normal process for doing that is to image the HD.

            The reporting is that Mr. Issac’s 2nd Stop after the FBI sat on the HD was Sen Johnson. And Johnson refered him to Guiliani.

    2. Good point, currentsitguy. This is also one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton having a bootleg server with classified information, back up to the Cloud, and serviced by various IT professionals, was so shocking.

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