Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Angle down icon An icon in the shape of an angle pointing down. Hunter Biden, left, and President-elect Joe Biden on November 7. Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images John Paul Mac Isaac, the laptop repairman behind the New York Post’s dubious exposé on Hunter Biden, sued Twitter on Monday alleging defamation. Isaac is accusing Twitter of falsely portraying him as a hacker by blocking the Post’s tweets about its story based on a company policy against sharing hacked materials. Isaac said the incident had caused him to close his business, and he is asking the court to award him $500 million in punitive damages. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The laptop repairman at the center of the New York Post’s dubious Hunter Biden exposé is suing Twitter, accusing the social-media giant of defamation over claims it insinuated he was a hacker and caused him to lose his business.

The front page of the New York Post on the day after Twitter blocked the newspaper’s tweets about its dubious Hunter Biden exposé. The New York Post

John Paul Mac Isaac says in his lawsuit, filed Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida and viewed by Business Insider, that he was hired to repair Biden’s laptop in April 2019 but that Biden never came to collect the device despite Isaac reaching out to him at least twice.

Isaac subsequently turned the device over to the FBI and shared a copy of the hard drive with Robert Costello, a personal attorney of Rudy Giuliani — President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — the Post reported in its exposé. It was Giuliani who provided the information on the laptop to the Post for its story on Biden and his business dealings with Ukraine.

Shortly after the Post published its story, Twitter suspended the newspaper’s Twitter account and stopped people from being able to tweet about the story, citing a policy against “distribution of hacked material.”

But Isaac says the information for the story did not come from hacked material. He says it was obtained because the computer had been abandoned to him.

“Plaintiff, as a direct result of Defendant’s actions and statements, is now widely considered a hacker and, on the same day Defendant categorized the Plaintiff as a hacker, Plaintiff began to receive negative reviews of his business as well as threats to his person and property,” the lawsuit says.

Twitter later walked back its disabling of the Post’s Twitter account and allowed for discussion about the story — albeit with contextual labels added.

But Isaac said the damage had been done. He said he had to close his business “as a direct result” of what he described as Twitter’s “false statements.”

Isaac is asking the court to award him $500 million in punitive damages and to force Twitter to “make a public retraction of all false statements.”

The Post’s story claimed that Hunter Biden used his influential father, Joe Biden, to forge business ties in Ukraine, but the story had several holes in it, and many questions have been raised about the origin of the laptop as well as the timing of the exposé just before the 2020 election.

More than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter in October saying the Post’s story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” but Trump’s spy chief said there’s no evidence that the laptop was “part of a Russian disinformation campaign.”

Read Isaac’s full lawsuit below:

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