The former owner of a Delaware computer repair shop who allegedly came into possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop has filed a lawsuit against Twitter for the second time concerning how the social media platform handled a New York Post story about the laptop alleging the company referring to him as a hacker defamed him and hurt his business.
John Paul Mac Isaac filed the lawsuit on Thursday in the Southern District Court of Florida, stating he believes he was forced to shut down his business due in part because of Twitter referring to him as a hacker, a label that would damage his reputation among customers in his industry.
A prior lawsuit, also claiming defamation and demanding $500 million in damages, was filed in the same court and tossed out by a judge in late December over lack of jurisdiction. In his new lawsuit, Mac Isaac attempts to bypass the jurisdiction issue. He also says that there had been defamation damages greater than $75,000 and that the exact award amount could be determined after a trial.
“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 police,” Mac Isaac’s lawyer contended in the federal lawsuit. “Plaintiff, as a direct result of Defendant Twitter’s actions and statements, is now widely considered a hacker.”
The New York Post reporting in question, published in October, claimed the publication received a copy of a laptop and hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden from Rudy Giuliani, who was a lawyer for former President Donald Trump. Giuliani claimed he obtained the hard drive from Mac Isaac’s repair shop, and Mac Isaac said he also provided a copy to the FBI after Hunter Biden had left it behind after dropping it off for repairs in April 2019. Hunter Biden has not denied that it was his hardware.
“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 stated. “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 the new lawsuit, Mac Isaac revealed that he’s now living in Colorado, filing the suit in Florida since that is where Twitter operates and has offices there, and stating that the company did the most damage to him while he was in that state.
I can see how being labeled a hacker might have a negative impact on his business, given the industry he worked in, so it makes sense to sue Twitter.
Hopefully the man will be able to find some way to use his skill to help provide for himself and any loved ones who might be in his care so his whole life isn’t ruined by this one incident.