Perhaps this makes sense as a legal strategy. As a political strategy, however, the attempt by Hunter Biden’s attorneys to silence discussion of his incriminating laptop leaves a lot to be desired. In demand letters sent to Delaware AG Kathy Jennings, Abbe Lowell accused media outlets of using Hunter’s “stolen” laptop to create “the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information.”
In other words, two-plus years of Biden Inc claims that this was Russian disinformation were utter nonsense. Good to know!
The New York Post has some fun with this attempt to criminalize journalism:
So much for, the laptop “could be” mine.
First son Hunter Biden’s lawyers admitted late Wednesday that the infamous laptop the now-52-year-old abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop in the throes of his crack cocaine addiction does indeed belong to him.
The revelation came in a petulant letter from Hunter’s lawyers seeking a criminal probe into what they called, attempts to “weaponize” its contents.
Lowell wants a criminal probe of John Paul Mac Isaac for the theft of Hunter’s personal data. As the Post points out, however, Mac Isaac kept the receipts — literally, as Rudy Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello notes:
Costello points out that Mac Isaac has a “signed work order that gives [him] authorization to examine the hard drive and the property is deemed legally abandoned after 90 days. It is the property of John Paul Mac Isaac.”
Mac Isaac said it’s no coincidence the letter from Hunter Biden’s lawyer comes just as House Republicans are ready to open probes into the president’s son.
This looks very much like an attempt to shut down the witnesses by threatening them with a criminal prosecution if they talk to Congress. Lowell apparently didn’t limit those efforts to the Delaware AG, either. Similar letters went to the Department of Justice and the IRS.
And that, as a political strategy, is as bad as it gets. Is this really the moment for Joe Biden to look like he’s using the federal government to conduct lawfare against his critics and the media? House Republicans are already spinning up a new committee with a specific mission of investigating the DoJ, IRS, and other executive branch agencies over weaponization against political opponents. Lowell is practically daring the DoJ and IRS to play directly into that strategy at The Big Guy’s expense, along with a potential dollop witness tampering to boot.
What about Lowell’s legal strategy? Power Line’s Scott Johnson isn’t impressed with that either, calling it Hunter Biden’s “Battle of the Bulge” strategy, especially as it relates to claims against the media:
One of Biden’s lawyers has also demanded a retraction from Tucker Carlson/Fox News for allegations regarding Hunter Biden’s payment of nearly $50,000 a month in rent to the old man. The letter is posted here. As I followed the story via Miranda Devine on Twitter, I believed that allegation to be inaccurate, but I find it hard to see how the rent story has damaged Hunter Biden’s reputation in any respect.
On this point the attorney’s letter asserts: “Mr. Carlson reported as fact that Mr. Biden paid President Biden $50,000 rent implying that such rent payments were to essentially launder money to maintain President Biden’s supposed lifestyle[.]” That’s it. I find it hard to see how the allegation or implication damaged Hunter’s reputation. The old man, maybe, but he’s got his own problems. The letter to Tucker Carlson and Fox News barely articulates a theory of damages, if it does at all.
I would liken Hunter Biden’s new campaign to the Battle of the Bulge. It’s a last-ditch offensive throwing all available resources into a campaign supporting an evil cause. Of course, that’s not how the Washington Post puts it.
Hunter Biden is a public figure, and has not shied away from that status over the course of his adult life. He trades on his father’s name as a leading politician for personal benefit, which isn’t illegal in and of itself, but certainly raises some concerns over risks of conflicts of interest and corruption. Furthermore, the information revealed in the very-much-not-stolen and now very-much-validated laptop is fair game for public comment and scrutiny. The $50K rent claim was pretty dodgy, and turned out to be a misunderstanding regarding which property it pertained to, but it would be hard to argue actual malice in media attempts to run down the murky details of Hunter Biden’s finances.
And does Lowell really want to go to court with Fox News and go through a discovery process to reveal the truth of Hunter’s finances? Maaayyyybeeee, but I suspect that’s the last thing Biden Inc would want. At the moment, they’re likely a lot more invested in finding ways to keep House Republicans from exposing those details — a task made tougher after the precedent set by House Democrats regarding the Trump family’s finances. And not just in Trump’s personal tax returns either, but in their zeal to uncover potential impeachment justifications through the Emoluments Clause by going after the Trump Org’s finances.
Still, Lowell has done us all a great public service in admitting what we knew all along. Joe Biden and his allies have been lying about “Russian disinformation” since Day One of the laptop story, and their media allies participated in a massive cover-up. I bet all of them are just thrilled today with Lowell’s stunt.