By Devan Cole and Paula Reid, CNN
(CNN) — Hunter Biden filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday against Rudy Giuliani and his former attorney, claiming they caused “total annihilation” of his digital privacy and violated federal and state computer privacy laws through their alleged efforts to hack his devices.
In the lawsuit filed in federal court in California, Hunter Biden accuses Giuliani and Robert Costello of spending 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.
“Plaintiff has demanded Defendants Giuliani and Costello cease their unlawful activities with respect to Plaintiff’s data and return any data in their possession belonging to Plaintiff, but they have refused to do so,” attorneys for Hunter Biden wrote in the lawsuit. “Defendants’ statements suggest that their unlawful hacking activities are ongoing today and that, unless stopped, will continue into the future, thereby necessitating this action.”
Tuesday’s lawsuit is the latest that Hunter Biden has brought as he pursues an aggressive legal strategy against his detractors. It comes as Republicans launch an impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden, that’s also examining Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
“Everyone involved in stealing and manipulating Hunter’s data should be hearing footsteps right about now,” a source on Hunter’s legal team told CNN.
An adviser to Giuliani denied allegations that the former New York mayor “manipulated” an electronic device belonging to the president’s son.
“Hunter Biden has previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop,” said Ted Goodman, the adviser. “I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing.”
Earlier this month, Hunter Biden brought a similar civil suit against former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler, claiming that since leaving his White House post, Ziegler “has devoted most of his waking time and energy” on the effort to access devices that purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden. And last week, Hunter Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service, alleging its agents illegally released his tax information and that the agency failed to protect his private records.
The latest lawsuit also adds to mounting legal woes for Rudy Giuliani, who is facing multiple civil and criminal actions stemming from his actions after the 2020 election.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys allege in the lawsuit that the former New York mayor has “not only admitted but bragged about downloading data from Plaintiff’s ‘laptop’ (even though he only had a hard drive) onto his own computer; about using his own computer to access, tamper with and manipulate the downloaded data; and about maintaining multiple copies of the data for his and Defendant Costello’s personal use.”
As an example, they pointed to an episode of Giuliani’s podcast ‘America’s Mayor Live’ in February 2023. According to the lawsuit, in a video of the podcast, Giuliani “held up a laptop computer on camera and announced: ‘This belongs to Hunter Biden.’”
“He proceeded to brag about having copied Plaintiff’s data onto his own computer and about having accessed, analyzed and manipulated the transferred data,” the lawsuit states.
The suit accuses Giuliani and Costello of breaking both federal and California state computer privacy laws and asks for a jury trial in the matter.
This story has been updated with the additional information and details.
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