What we know – and don't know – about Hunter Biden's alleged laptop

7 min read
fairly difficult
A central figure has contradicted himself about his actions and motivations, raising questions about his account.
Wilmington, Delaware — President Trump and his allies have launched a late effort to again tarnish Joe Biden by tying him to his son Hunter Biden's overseas business interests, publicizing emails and photos supposedly from a laptop alleged to have been abandoned by the younger Biden and timing their release in a manner reminiscent of Russia's efforts to dump damaging material about Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, said his own attorney, Robert Costello, obtained the material from the owner of a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, after Hunter Biden allegedly left it there for months. Giuliani provided the material to the New York Post on Sunday, and the Post began running stories about the supposed documents this week.

But the owner of the computer store, John Paul MacIsaac, was unable and unwilling to answer key questions about how the laptop supposedly arrived in his store, and eventually, how the data was shared with Giuliani. CBS News interviewed MacIsaac for almost two hours on Wednesday and throughout the interview he contradicted himself about his motivations, raising questions about the truthfulness of one of the central figures in the story.

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MacIsaac told CBS News he first turned over the hard drive to the FBI last December during the president's impeachment, and provided a copy of its contents to Costello after becoming frustrated by the Senate trial in January. MacIsaac refused to provide key details about his interactions with Giuliani.

The Post's first story ricocheted across major social media platforms on Wednesday before Facebook and Twitter moved to block its distribution, seemingly wary of allowing the dissemination of the kind of misinformation that spread across their networks in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump seized on the Post story and the ensuing tech crackdown to paint Biden as corrupt and the media as complicit before a massive…
Bo Erickson
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