The computer shop owner who provided Hunter Biden’s laptop to the FBI and Rudy Giulilani is a 44-year-old Trump voter, it emerged Wednesday, hours after pictures and emails from it sent shockwaves through Washington.
John Paul MacIsaac confirmed that he had handed the laptop to the FBI late last year, claiming to the Daily Beast that he was ‘just a guy who had something he wanted [taken] out of this shop,’ after realizing he had the Democratic candidate’s sons pictures and emails.
The younger Biden left three damaged Apple laptops at MacIsaac’s shop in Wilmington, DE, in April 2019 but never returned or paid the $85 bill for recovering the data from them.
On Wednesday their contents began to be revealed by the New York Post after being given to the newspaper by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.
The emails appeared to show that Hunter Biden introduced his father to his business partner in Ukraine – but that was denied rapidly by the Biden campaign, who said that no such meeting was found in his schedules from 2015, when the email suggested it happened.
But MacIsaac created new confusion and questions over how the laptop’s content ended up with the FBI and with Giuliani.
On a tape recording of his lengthy interview with the Daily Beast’s reporter, he equivocated over how he and the FBI came to be in touch in fall 2019.
I had Hunter’s emails: John Paul MacIsaac, 44, a former Genius Bar worker who runs his own Mac store in Wilmington, DE, revealed that he had passed the laptop to both the FBI and Rudy Giuliani – but offered contradictory accounts of his dealings with law enforcement
How it got there: MacIsaac offers data recovery services at his store in Wilmington, DE, and Hunter Biden simply walked in with three damaged laptops. Two had water damage and one had a sticky keyboard. But he never returned to retrieve them
In hot water: Hunter Biden’s laptop also contained sexually explicit pictures and footage of him apparently smoking crack, the New York Post reported
Biden in bed: A photo of the former vice-president’s son apparently asleep is among the pictures Giuliani released. It shows him with a pipe of the type used to smoke crack or marijuana in his mouth
He said first that he had got in touch with the FBI but also said: ‘They approached me.’
Asked repeatedly for clarity, he said ‘no comment,’ and said that he had asked a trusted friend who was ‘better at this press and spy stuff’ for advice.
‘I was afraid, I reached out to some people that I trusted, that could possibly get me in touch with the FBI,’ he said. ‘Then they showed up.’
The people were not political, he said, but declined to comment on how he came to know them.
Before the FBI came he made a copy to ‘protect myself,’ he said, but said he was not aware that there were any other copies.
And he repeatedly declined to comment on how he came to be in touch with Giuliani, whose own personal lawyer Robert Costello says he obtained the laptop’s contents from MacIsaac.
‘I don’t feel comfortable clearing anything up right now,’ he said.
But MacIsaac, a single former lead ‘genius’ at a nearby Apple Store, did tell how he came to have the laptop.
He said that he has a ‘medical condition’ which meant he did not recognize Hunter – but which he did not explain – when he came into his store in April 2019, but that when he asked for his name he thought ‘that sounds familiar.’
‘I got him checked into the system. First name, Hunter. Last name, there was a long pause – Biden,’ he said. ‘I have had a handful of famous people come in here that I don’t recognize. Sabrina – the older sister on Cosby – she comes in here sometimes.’
The MacBook Pro also had a Beau Biden sticker on it, he said. His account varied slightly from that reported by the New York Post, which said he could not ‘positively identify’ Hunter Biden.
The laptop had suffered water damage, and MacIsaac was able to retrieve the data from it and image the contents it on to a separate hard drive.
In the course of doing that, he said that he saw its contents, saying that the ‘it was a mess.’
‘I would have been responsible for dragging and dropping the contents on to a hard drive,’ he said. There was ‘personal information,’ he said.
Information on Hunter Biden’s laptop has ‘to be possessed by the Chinese government,’ said Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said it included 1,000 photographs
Man at center of the Hunter scandal: John Paul MacIsaac is an Apple technician who also assembled and ran a Boeing 737 simulator at a local art space for many years
Scottish heritage: MacIsaac is enthusiastic about his family’s origins in Scotland and posed in MacIsaac tartan at a Highland Games in Colorado
But he said ‘no comment’ when asked whether or how he knew that the emails concerned Hunter’s dealings with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy giant whose board the vice-president’s son joined in 2014.
He said he had tried to contact the younger Biden ‘repeatedly,’ to no avail.
And he said that during the summer he started to be concerned about what was in his shop.
‘Middle of summer, I started to get concerned because you see stuff in the papers and the news and online and I thought I recognize that name,’ he said, in reference to Hunter Biden, as questions over his links to Ukraine came to be at the heart of the impeachment saga.
Then he said he reached out to a trusted friend who offered him advice.
But his account then became unclear as he equivocated on how he and the FBI came to be in touch.
Regardless, two agents from the FBI – possibly from its Baltimore office – came to pick up the laptop on December 9, he said, bringing with them a subpoena for it – although that document is dated December 19.
He said that the next day, they phoned him to ask for help getting the laptop to work and he told them which power cord to get.
MacIsaac said that he next heard from them in the New Year.
‘One of the agents called me up three weeks later,’ he said, saying that the agent warned him not to speak to anyone who came asking him for the laptop and instead to ‘stall.’
Asked who that would be, MacIsaac told the Daily Beast the FBI said: ‘Biden, anybody representing Hunter.’
MacIsaac said he had acted to pass on the laptop to Giuliani because he feared being killed because of what was in his possession saying: ‘I’m pretty vocal about not wanting to get murdered.’
‘Did you genuinely think Joe Biden would put your life in danger?’ he was asked.
‘People that work for him, sure.’
He referenced the murder of Seth Rich, a Democratic political staffer whose death in Washington D.C. in 2016 remains unsolved but was at the center of debunked conspiracy theories that it was because he played a role in the leaking of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Rich’s family have repeatedly spoken of the pain the bogus claims have caused and are suing people – including Fox News – who they say spread the lies.
But MacIsaac said of answering questions from reporters: ‘I’d prefer this to getting shot jogging in the morning.’
Asked who he thought would kill him, he said: ‘Epstein didn’t really hang himself, this guy got shot jogging.
‘I think that it’s not the government as an entire entity but I think there’s a history in this country of people with political motives doing horrible things. I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that.’
MacIsaac said he was ‘not political’ although his social media shows that he voted for Trump in 2016 and posted: ‘So, I decided to go on Facebook today for the first time in a while. Apparently, I am an a**hole, stupid, racist, sexist, and a d**k that hates his country. And that’s just from my friends.
‘Come on people, we are Stronger Together…… What, too soon?’
But asked if he was concerned about the possibility of Biden winning the election he said: ”As long as he doesn’t have a vendetta.’
HOW HUNTER’S EMAILS EXPLODED AS TWO WORLDS COLLIDED
January 2009: Hunter Biden (right) quits lobbying because his father has become vice president, and sets up investment and advisory firm firm Rosemont Seneca with friends Christopher Heinz – John Kerry’s stepson – and Devon Archer (left), a former Kerry aide
July 2010: Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, who owns its biggest natural gas company Burisma joins the government of its president Viktor Yanukovych
February 2014: Yanukovych is deposed in a revolution which claims scores of lives and Burisma Zlochevsky is thrown out of government too
April 16: Burisma is secretly accused of money-laundering by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office. On the same day Archer meets Joe Biden at the White House. Six days later Archer joins the board of Burisma
April 28: Britain’s Serious Fraud Office freeze $23 million of Burisma’s cash, every dollar which exists in the UK’s banking system
May 12: Hunter joins the board of Burisma to improve ‘corporate governance.’ Hunter’s salary is later revealed to be $50,000-a-month. Burisma board advisor Vadym Pozharskyi who had met Hunter in Lake Como, Italy, days earlier, emails him asking to ‘use his influence’ to stop prosecutions. During the summer, the new prosecutor-general of Ukraine opens an investigation into Burisma
February 2015: Senior diplomat George Kent, on temporary assignment to Kyiv, learns of Hunter’s role. He phones a staffer at Biden’s office to it could ‘create perception of a conflict of interest.’ That month Viktor Shokin takes office as Ukraine’s prosecutor general, despite already being the subject of questions about his own links to corruption
April 17: Email from Hunter’s laptop shows Pozharskyi writing Hunter: ‘thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some together.’
Summer: The Burisma investigation appears to become dormant
January 2016: Biden travels to Ukraine amid mounting international disgust at Shokin. The European Union and IMF have warned he is corrupt and Biden tells Poroshenko he needs to go. He later boasts: ‘I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.’ Shokin in fact is finally removed from office in March after internal turmoil in Kyiv
2018: Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani starts ‘investigating’ the Bidens’ links to Ukraine, enlisting the help of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are now indicted on fraud charges. Ukraine’s latest prosecutor general announces he will investigate Burisma early the next year
April 12, 2019: Hunter takes three damaged Macs to John Paul MacIsaac’s Apple repair shop in WIlmington, Delaware. MacIsaac puts data from one on a new hard drive
April 25: Joe Biden announces presidential run
Summer: MacIsaac claims he becomes worried that Hunter has not picked up his laptops he has seen some of what is on them, and thinks he might be killed by a Biden associate for having it in his shop
Fall: MacIsaac either contacts the FBI or is contacted by them; he has said both
December 9 or 19: The FBI pick up the laptop, but MacIsaac has made a copy for himself. They give him a grand jury subpoena to hand it over, even though he was going to anyway
Early January 2020: The FBI tell MacIsaac not to talk to anyone and to stall if a Biden representative comes to get the laptop back
February: Trump is acquitted at end of his impeachment trial
September: Steve Bannon, Trump’s ex-aide and now indicted on fraud charges, tells New York Post about existence of laptop
October 11: Giuliani gives Post the hard drive
October 14: Post publishes emails and partially-clothed pictures of Hunter from the laptop – one of them with an apparent crack pipe – and says it has an 11-minute sex-and-drugs video. Giuliani promises there is ‘more to come,’ Republican senators promise to investigate but Democrats say the former New York mayor has ‘paraded with Russian agents’