According to the Washington Post, Hunter Biden  has filed a countersuit against John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of a computer repair shop who claimed that Biden left his laptop at his shop and never came to pick it up. The legal action marks an escalation in the ongoing dispute over how sensitive data and images of Hunter Biden were obtained nearly five years ago.

In the counterclaim filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware on Friday, Hunter Biden and his attorneys assert that John Paul Mac Isaac had no legal right to copy and distribute private information. They accuse him and others of invasion of privacy, including conspiracy to obtain and distribute the data.

The lawsuit provides significant detail on how Hunter Biden’s data became public, which propelled it into the spotlight during the last presidential campaign and is now at the center of a Republican-led congressional investigation into the president’s son. The countersuit is an attempt by Hunter Biden and his lawyers to shift the focus to a private citizen whose privacy was allegedly invaded, rather than a man who critics say benefited from his father’s political connections.

According to the suit, “As a result of Mac Isaac’s unlawful agreement and his conspiracy with others, Mr. Biden’s personal data was made available to third parties and then ultimately to the public at large, which is highly offensive, causing harm to Mr. Biden and his reputation. The object of invading Mr. Biden’s privacy and disseminating his data was not for any legitimate purpose but to cause harm and embarrassment to Mr. Biden.”

The countersuit is a response to a suit filed by Mac Isaac last year, which has been amended several times since, alleging that Hunter Biden defamed him by claiming he had illegally accessed the data. Mac Isaac contends that the laptop became his property when it was abandoned in his shop. The repairman’s suit also targeted CNN, Politico, the Biden campaign, and Rep. Adam B. Schiff (R-Calif.).

Hunter Biden’s decision to respond with a legal challenge of his own intensifies the battle with his critics, just as Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, prepares a high-profile investigation into the president’s son. The dynamic could become an awkward distraction for President Biden, who is expected to launch his reelection bid within weeks.

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