Hunter Biden goes on the warpath over ‘dirty political trick’ to expose contents of his laptop
Hunter Biden appeared to go against the wishes of some White House officials as he launched an aggressive new strategy against those who disseminated the contents of his infamous laptop.
It also marked the first time the US president's son and his lawyers have publicly confirmed that at least some of the data on the computer abandoned at a Delaware repair shop in 2019 was his.
The White House has been keen not to amplify issues arising from the laptop, which became a campaign battle cry for Donald Trump and his supporters in the 2020 election.
The contents, including details of Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings and salacious photographs, were then published by the New York Post.
Lawyers for Hunter Biden have now written to the US Justice Department calling for a criminal investigation into close allies of Mr Trump and others who accessed and disseminated data from the laptop.
In a separate cease-and-desist letter, they also asked Fox News host Tucker Carlson to retract what they said were false claims arising from the laptop.
It came as Republicans in Congress launched investigations into the foreign business dealings of the president's son.
Hunter Biden 'not going to sit quietly by'
Some in the White House have preferred caution in how to respond.
But a source familiar with Hunter Biden’s plans told The Washington Post that he is adopting a "new approach" and is "not going to sit quietly by".
The letter to the Justice Department seeks an investigation into people including Mr Trump's longtime lawyer Rudy Giuliani, his former strategist Steve Bannon, and John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repair shop owner in Wilmington.
It cites passages from Mr Mac Isaac's book, in which he admitted reviewing private and sensitive material from the laptop.
In the letter, it was claimed that the shop owner sent a copy of data on the laptop to Mr Giuliani's lawyer, who in turn shared it with Mr Giuliani.
Mr Giuliani then provided the information to Mr Bannon and a journalist at the New York Post, it was claimed.
Hunter Biden had never consented to his personal information being accessed or disseminated, said the letter.
The letter was addressed to the top national security official at the Justice Department.
It suggested possible violations of laws against the unauthorised access of a computer, transport of stolen data across state lines, and the publication of restricted personal data with intent to intimidate.
Letter 'reeks of desperation'
Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's lawyer, wrote: "Mr Mac Isaac chose to work with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer to weaponise Mr Biden’s personal computer data against his father, Joseph R Biden, by unlawfully causing the provision of Mr Biden’s personal data to the New York Post.
"This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr Biden's private and personal information.
"The actions described above more than merit a full investigation and, depending on the resulting facts, may merit prosecution under various statutes."
The letter does not mean that prosecutors will decide to open an investigation.
Mr Mac Isaac declined to comment on the development.
A lawyer for Mr Giuliani said the letter was "frivolous" and "reeks of desperation because they know judgement day is coming for the Bidens".
There was no immediate comment from Fox News or Mr Bannon.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.