Legal experts have warned that a defamation lawsuit filed by Delaware computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac against Hunter Biden and President Biden’s campaign committee could potentially implicate the President.
Isaac filed the lawsuit on March 1, accusing Hunter and the campaign committee of falsely characterizing the contents of Hunter’s laptop as “Russian disinformation.” The laptop was dropped off at Isaac’s computer repair store in Delaware in April 2019 and never collected – eventually findings its way to former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
President Biden could be dragged into the case
Experts have cautioned that the discovery process could be perilous for Hunter and potentially drag the President into the case.
“Discovery is very broad. It would include emails, texts with his father, and potentially all the contents of Hunter’s computer, even that which hasn’t yet been revealed. So it’s a very risky decision to get involved in litigation when you might have things to hide,” said Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.
Dershowitz noted that President Biden could “technically be subject to a deposition” but said that it would ultimately be for the judge to decide.
Ronald Poliquin, an attorney for Mac Isaac, confirmed that the discovery process would involve depositions of individuals who falsely accused Isaac of being a tool for Russian disinformation.
“As alleged in the complaint, President Biden’s Presidential Campaign Committee and himself were a key part of that effort,” Poliquin said.
The lawsuit named President Biden and top campaign aides as people who sought to discredit the laptop, pointing out at least one instance where then-candidate Biden falsely insisted that the laptop was “disinformation from the Russians.”
There is a historical precedent for a sitting President to be deposed in a civil lawsuit. In 1998, former President Bill Clinton spent six hours in a deposition stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by Paula Jones.
The false statements Clinton made about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky during his deposition ultimately led to his impeachment. However, Clinton did not admit wrongdoing, eventually settling the lawsuit by paying Jones $850,000.
In response to the lawsuit, Hunter’s attorneys filed a countersuit on March 17, alleging that Isaac violated his privacy by disseminating the contents of the laptop.
The attorneys have engaged with the plaintiff’s counsel to arrange a date for the parties to discuss the timing and sequence of discovery, among other topics, adding that they will “then will promptly provide the court with a proposed case schedule for discovery.”