(CN) — Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani Tuesday over claims that the former New York City mayor had hacked Biden’s personal devices, leading to a “total annihilation" of his digital privacy.
In the lawsuit, filed in the Central District of California, the younger Biden says that Giuliani and his former lawyer Robert Costello had spent years “hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from” his devices.
Two of Giuliani’s New York-based companies — Giuliani Partners and Giuliani Security and Safety — are also named as defendants.
The legal action comes on the heels of another suit Biden filed against the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that tax agents illegally disclosed his tax information and failed to protect his private records. Just before that suit, Biden was indicted on federal firearm charges by special counsel David Weiss on Sept. 14.
President Joe Biden’s son has become a focus for conservatives, particularly those closely aligned with former President Donald Trump, who believe that Hunter Biden’s legal woes are a sign of wider corruption within the Biden family. Trump and his allies have tried to equate Hunter Biden’s indictment to Trump’s four federal and state indictments.
Paul Salvaty, an attorney from Winston & Strawn LLP representing Hunter Biden, claims that a former computer repair shop owner illegally obtained Biden’s data and turned over “several copies” of an external drive to Giuliani, using a contact portal Giuliani had set up.
The lawsuit contends the computer repair shop failed to forensically preserve Biden’s data and that Giuliani altered it to an unknowable extent.
Through the hard drive, Costello was able to scroll through Biden’s private emails, photos, bank statements and financial documents. The New York Post first published photos and emails from the laptop in October 2020. Giuliani has continued to brag about accessing Biden’s data and detailed his findings on several podcasts.
Giuliani and Costello refused to return Biden’s data, and without a judge’s order Biden's lawyers argue “defendants’ statements suggest that their unlawful hacking activities are ongoing today.”
Salvaty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Inquiries made to Giuliani Security and Safety as well as attorneys who have previously represented Giuliani were unanswered at the time of publication.
Naming violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as California law, Biden is asking for an injunction to prevent further hacking as well as unnamed damages including “disgorgement of all money obtained by defendants as a result” of their conduct.Follow @Ryan_Knappy Follow @bright_lamp
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