Hunter Biden sues Rudy Giuliani over alleged data access violations and computer fraud


Hunter Biden on Tuesday sued Rudy Giuliani, his businesses and his former lawyer, Robert Costello, alleging violations of computer fraud and data access laws, court documents show.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that the defendants are among those primarily responsible "for what has been described as 'the total annihilation'" of Biden's digital privacy and data.

For years, the lawsuit alleges, the defendants have "dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy toward looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given." The suit claims the data was taken or stolen from Biden's "devices or storage platforms."

Rudy Giuliani in Lansing, Mich (Rey Del Rio / Getty Images file )
Rudy Giuliani in Lansing, Mich (Rey Del Rio / Getty Images file )

The president's son's legal team claimed that his data was “manipulated, altered, and damaged” before it was sent to Costello and Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's onetime lawyer, and that the pair then were involved in illegal hacking and tampering involving "further alterations and damage to the data to a degree that is presently unknown to Plaintiff."

The lawsuit doesn’t say how that is believed to have occurred. It alleges that the nature and extent of the "manipulation, tampering, alteration, damage and copying" of Biden's data "is unknown to [Biden] due to Defendants’ continuing refusal to return the data to [Biden] so that it can be analyzed or inspected."

The lawsuit also alleges that statements made by Giuliani and Costello suggest their "unlawful hacking activities are ongoing today."

The suit, which requests a jury trial, seeks more than $75,000 in damages, attorneys' fees and disgorgement of any proceeds Giuliani and Costello might have received from allegedly accessing the hard drive; it also seeks a judicial order barring them from accessing or copying Biden’s data.

Biden's lawyers allege that Giuliani and Costello violated both state and federal law by accessing the hard drive, which was shipped to Costello from John Mac Isaac, who has alleged Biden left a damaged laptop at his computer repair store in Wilmington, Delaware.

In a statement, Giuliani adviser Ted Goodman said: "Hunter Biden has previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop. I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing."

Costello and Biden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden also sued the IRS this month alleging agents unlawfully shared his private tax information in criminal probes that led to charges against him, which the legal team of one of the agents denied, saying no "confidential taxpayer information" was released "except through whistleblower disclosures authorized by statute."

Biden also sued former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler this month, alleging he violated state and federal data laws in connection with the online publication of the laptop's content. Ziegler responded that “numerous state and federal laws and regulations ... protect authors like me and the publishing" done by his organization, Marco Polo, which describes itself as a nonprofit research group that exposes corruption.

In mid-September, federal prosecutors in Delaware indicted Biden on gun charges — three counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics.