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Hunter Biden sues former Trump aide over laptop data leak

In the lawsuit, Garrett Ziegler is accused of violating a computer fraud and data access law in California. Court documents say a trial was demanded.
Hunter Biden sues former Trump aide over laptop data leak
Posted at 7:26 PM, Sep 13, 2023

A legal team representing President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden has filed documents in court demanding a trial, accusing a former Trump administration aide of violating data access laws in California. 

The lawsuit stems from the leak of private data from a laptop the president's son owned. 

In court documents, a former aide to Trump administration trade adviser Peter Navarro named Garrett Ziegler is accused of violating California's computer fraud and data access laws.

SEE MORE: White House releases memo defending Biden amid impeachment inquiry

Ziegler and other codefendants who are not expressly named in the court filing are alleged to have gained access to "thousands" of emails, and a host of videos and other recordings. 

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of taking that data and spreading it on the internet. 

Lawyers for Biden say Ziegler has "has devoted most of his waking time and energy to accessing, tampering with, manipulating, altering, copying and otherwise using" the data from the laptop since he left the White House. 

"Within the last two weeks," the lawsuit alleges, "defendant Ziegler went so far as to declare on social media that efforts by plaintiff to serve him with legal process in the future would met with violence," Hunter's lawyers wrote.  

According to court documents, lawyers say the defendant wrote, "If the U.S. president’s son sends a proxy [i.e., a process server] to illegally trespass on my property I will blow their f***ing brains out."

Politico reported that Ziegler has used his nonprofit group Marco Polo to talk about his work sharing contents from a hard drive that is said to have once been in possession of Hunter Biden. 

Politco reported that it obtained a statement from Ziegler in which he claimed he had not be served with a lawsuit by the time the outlet reported on it on Wednesday. The former Trump administration aide said he had read about the threat of a suit, according to reporting from the outlet. "It's not worth the paper it's written on," Ziegler said in the statement. 

On Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy directed the House to open an inquiry to review President Biden's interactions with his son Hunter and his business dealings.

McCarthy spoke about the inquiry on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday morning in a reported effort to help alleviate concerns from some members of the Republican Party, saying that it was not a political stunt. 

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