If John Paul Mac Isaac, the legally blind computer repairman who claims Hunter Biden abandoned a laptop at his repair shop, had had his way — at least as he tells the story in his book — he would have obtained video of a single FBI agent sitting on the white couch in his living room, accepting printed copies of certain documents that, JPMI would have narrated for the camera, showed Mykola Zlochevsky in direct contact with senior people in the Obama Administration and implicated Ihor Kolomoyskyi in some vague way.
I printed out a few emails mentioning Ihor Kolomoyskyi. He was on the run with the lion’s share of the billions embezzled from the IMF and Ukraine. He would be the most dangerous person involved if he had an axe to grind. I also included emails from Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym Pozharskyi showing their access to high levels of the Obama administration.
According to the timeline in JPMI’s book, that exchange would have taken place on November 19, 2019, just as Democrats prepared impeachment.
According to the timeline memorialized by Gary Shapley, however, that first in-person meeting between FBI agents and JPMI happened on November 7, 2019, before the first public impeachment hearing. The timing matters, somewhat, given that JPMI’s book claims his decision to share the “Hunter Biden” laptop with the FBI was a response to impeachment. Using the FBI timeline, it would have anticipated much of it.
More importantly, the discrepancy raises questions about why JPMI would focus on the emails he claims to have.
For example, there are only a few email threads mentioning Kolomoyskyi in the public set of emails from the drive. One is a thread from former Bush official Frank Mermoud passing on a piece about parliamentary maneuverings in Ukraine that mentioned Kolomoyskyi alongside Paul Manafort’s backer, Rinat Akhmetov. Another includes a discussion about how to respond to questions from reporter James Risen, to which Vadym Pozharskyi was adamant that, “The role of Igor Kolomoyskyi is often misunderstood. He has never been involved with Burisma and certainly is not today.” Risen wrote about the resulting story the day the whistleblower transcript was released in September 2019. Hunter Biden was included on both threads, but did not comment. Hunter received a third email via BCC: a link to a New Yorker story about efforts to reform Ukraine after Maidan.
Those are the kind of emails that JPMI would have handed to the FBI on camera, as if they were a smoking gun.
I’m not aware there are any threads from Zlochevsky. There are, of course, a ton about him involving Pozharskyi. And Pozharskyi’s the one who came closest to having any contacts directly with Obama officials, including Hunter’s father. But three years after NYPost published what has been deemed one of the most damning emails, in which Pozharskyi thanked Hunter for, “inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father,” the best explanation for the “meeting” is that the Burisma executive attended a World Food Program dinner to which then-Vice President Biden stopped in, ostensibly to visit another attendee. The discussion, per Devon Archer, was about food security, not gas deals.
Nevertheless, JPMI describes that he told the FBI that the emails he had printed out showed Kolomoyskyi, along with Zlochevsky, using Hunter and his business partner to protect their stolen billions.
“This is information about Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Mykola Zlochevsky, and their involvement in using Hunter and Devon to protect the billions they embezzled from the IMF. I am afraid they would silence me for what I know,” I explained, sliding the paperwork across the table toward the two agents.
In other words, had JPMI’s set-up worked, the video showing the handoff would have been far more scandalous than the emails themselves have proven to be, particularly if it had come out just as Democrats moved to impeach Trump for demanding dirt on Hunter Biden. And it would have focused far more closely on Kolomoyskyi than the laptop contents justified.
It would have done what Republicans, to this day, demand should have happened: public notice that the “laptop was real.” It still doesn’t matter what is on that damn thing: it’s a shiny object, just like John Podesta’s risotto recipe, and Republicans know that’s all their followers need.
This was JPMI’s self-described plan for sharing the laptop with the FBI: It wasn’t so much that he wanted to hand off the laptop. He wanted to create a video of the FBI accepting paper copies that he claimed were something they weren’t.
As JPMI describes it, his plans to create such a video failed because, first of all, FBI agents always travel in twos, in part to ensure there are always two witnesses to conversations like this. One of the two agents coming to interview JPMI noticed and pointed to the camera the computer repairman had just installed in advance of the interview, so both agents chose to sit in a smaller loveseat, leaving JPMI facing his own camera.
I shut the door behind them and then closed the second, interior door. I saw Agent DeMeo point to the camera on the shelf, and the two sat down on the loveseat.
“Not a great start,” I thought, sitting on the couch facing the camera.
To my knowledge, such video has never been publicly released, perhaps because the agents also declined to take the documents with them when they left. But JPMI’s claim to have taken video, while it may explain the clarity with which he remembers telling the FBI he had documents implicating Hunter Biden in helping Kolomoyskyi, “protect the billions [he] embezzled from the IMF,” raises still more questions about the discrepancy between his timeline and FBI’s.
I reviewed JPMI’s description of his attempt to film the FBI agents as they picked up emails that don’t say what JPMI claimed they did, along with the discrepancies between JPMI’s claimed timeline and FBI’s, after I revisited how Rudy’s alleged efforts to extort legal relief for dirt transpired. That piece showed that Rudy’s efforts to find dirt — in 2019, ostensibly a year before JPMI first contacted him — parallel the JPMI timeline in interesting ways.
Rudy’s public, failed attempt to obtain dirt from Kolomoyskyi makes JPMI’s inexplicable treatment of the one-time Volodymyr Zelenskyy funder, to whose corruption JPMI dedicates a 3-page description elsewhere in his book, more interesting. Kolomoyskyi’s role in events leading up to impeachment is real. Lev Parnas has receipts from his trip to Israel in a failed bid to extort dirt from Kolomoyskyi, after which Rudy called out Kolomoyskyi publicly.
But there’s no reason for Kolomoyskyi to be in JPMI’s book, especially given JPMI’s admission, when trying to disclaim responsibility for the money laundering case number that appeared on the subpoena, that Hunter had no role in Kolomoyskyi’s corruption.
Agent DeMeo was based in Baltimore, but he’d never said anything about money laundering. The only discussion about anything remotely close to money laundering revolved around Ihor Kolomoyskyi and his Delaware assets. I remember discussing that, but it hadn’t involved Hunter Biden.
Whatever emails he printed out would have done little to substantiate the specific corruption claims he, by his own telling, made to the FBI. But JPMI claims that he tried to put them in his video as a prop anyway.
The first time I examined discrepancies between JPMI’s story and the one memorialized by Shapley, I had noted how a shift in JPMI’s timeline served to support his explanation that he shared the laptop with the FBI in response to impeachment. He described packaging up specific emails from the laptop to excuse Trump’s call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy (JPMI dates his own trolling of the laptop to this WaPo article, just days before the perfect phone call).
And of course I included the smoking gun, the one that could put an immediate end to this bogus impeachment: the initial email outlining Devon and Hunter’s plan to use Vice President Biden as the centerpiece of their plan to tap into the billions Burisma had to offer. The shady business dealings I had witnessed on the laptop, in my opinion, justified President Trump’s phone call with Zelenskyy.
But as I’ve focused more closely since, a more interesting discrepancy is that JPMI claims his father first reached out to the FBI on October 9 — around seven hours before Lev Parnas was arrested on his way to get a laptop in Vienna — whereas the FBI claims it happened on October 16, a week later. Normally, you’d trust the FBI’s timeline over JPMI’s.
But the blind computer repairman claims to have written Rudy a letter, the night before his father planned to go to the FBI. In the letter, JPMI explained his plan, in case anything bad happened. JPMI describes packaging this up on October 8 and giving it to a friend, Kristin, for safekeeping.
My father called the next morning. His plan was to visit the FBI field office in Albuquerque around 10 a.m. the next day.
From there on out, I would have to be extra careful. After his visit, people beyond those we trusted would know of the laptop’s existence, introducing a whole new element of potential danger. For my safety net, I had to make sure to write Rudy Giuliani an attention-getting letter. I definitely didn’t want to come off as a nutjob or conspiracy junkie. The letter would have to be clear and to the point, explaining my actions leading up to my father’s FBI interaction without revealing his identity. I wanted to focus on my reasons for not trusting the FBI as well as my expectations for what could happen. More important, I wanted to let Giuliani know why, if he were reading the letter, I would need his help. Here’s what I came up with.
Giuliani Security and Safety
If you have received this letter, I am in need of your help. Last April 12, Hunter Biden came into my Mac repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, requesting data recovery from 3 of his laptops. I was able to check in the one working Mac and accomplished a data recovery. He has failed to return to pay or collect the recovered data or his laptop. As the events of the summer unfolded, and after the shop’s 90 day abandonment policy expired, I decided to poke around and look to see if there was anything topical on his drive. I discovered enough information that I no longer felt comfortable being in possession of his data and laptop. I decided that I wanted to turn over everything I have to the FBI or local police, but a major concern was what if compromised FBI or local police intercepted the data and destroyed it, preventing it from ending up in the hands of someone who can use it. I could not risk contacting anyone local so I mailed a copy of the drive out of state to a trusted person who would contact the FBI on Wednesday, October 9, and if trustworthy FBI were contacted, they were instructed to collect the laptop and data from my shop discreetly. If you are reading this letter, it means the compromised FBI has collected the laptop, data and possibly me. I have included a flash drive with some emails and files recovered from his laptop that could be useful in your investigation. If I am in the compromised FBI’s custody, it means that there are still members of the FBI who are working to protect a former Vice-President and silence those who provide proof to his corruption. I need your help, not just to get out of custody, but also to bring to light what has happened. I have included a full copy of the laptop on an external drive. You will need a Mac to access it.
Thank you for your time and help.
John Paul Mac Isaac [my emphasis]
According to this timeline, JPMI asked Kristin if she was willing to hold a copy of the drive sometime between September 24 and October 8. Then he wrote and printed out the letter on October 8, the day before his father would go to the FBI. After 7PM that day, he packaged up the drive, the letter, and “a flash drive consisting of documents summarizing the Bidens’ criminal activity” in a 5″X7″ padded envelope, and walked the package out to Kristin’s house in a residential area of Wilmington.
In August 2020, after JPMI reached out to Rudy and then spoke with Robert Costello, there were (per his book anyway), three versions of the hard drive, on top of what he had given the FBI: A copy he had kept and made a bunch of notes on, a copy in his uncle’s possession, and the copy he had given to Kristen for safe keeping — a copy that should have been in an envelope with a thumb drive with documents saved almost a year before.
That last drive is the one he sent to Robert Costello.
“Let me tell you about the Department of Justice,” Bob said. “When Rudy and I returned from Ukraine last year, we submitted over two hundred subpoena requests to the district attorney, and not a single one has been filed. Do you know what the term ‘slow walking’ means?” I said no.
“It’s when they deliberately drag their asses to delay or even prevent a case from moving forward,” he supplied. “That’s what the DOJ is doing to us, and that is what the FBI is doing to you. How quickly can you get me a copy of the drive?”
“I can drop something in the mail for you tomorrow.”
“Let me call you back in a few minutes,” Bob said. “Will you be around?” I said yes, and we hung up.
That wasn’t so bad! I had their attention, and it felt like I was talking to the right person. At this point I realized I needed a copy of the drive. My copy had all my notes, and because of this I felt it would be considered tampered with. My uncle Ron had the copy that originally had been in my father’s possession. That was too far away.
Then I smiled, remembering that the other copy I’d made back then had ended up with Kristen, and she was to hand-deliver it to Rudy Giuliani if all else failed. It was kind of funny that I could have saved myself nearly a year if I had just gone to him in the first place.
Bob called me back, and we agreed I would FedEx the drive to him the next day.
When we hung up, I dialed Kristen.
She answered quickly. “Is everything OK?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”
“Everything is OK,” I said, then amended that: “I think everything is going to be OK. I hope it’s not too late. I need to come over and grab something.”
August 28, 2020
I dropped the drive off at FedEx the next morning on my walk to work. It was done. The drive was on its way to the lawyer of the president. My work was done; I’d seen it through to the end.
Unless he repackaged it, the flash drive would have been sent along with the hard drive.
That flash drive with a few documents on it is one of the best explanations for the metadata on the documents shared with NYPost a year later. One, of a detailed email Hunter wrote about how Burisma should navigate the likely election of Poroshenko which noted Vice President Biden’s upcoming trip but which also recorded Hunter stating, “they need to know in no uncertain terms that we will not and cannot intervene directly with domestic policy makers, and that we need to abide by FARA and any other US laws in the strictest sense across the board,” has metadata reflecting a creation data on September 28, 2019, right in the period where, JPMI describes, he and his father were developing their plan.
Another document published by NYPost on October 14, 2020, an email in which Vadym Pozharskyi emailed Devon Archer and Hunter asking them to “use your influence to convey a message / signal, etc to stop using what we consider politically motivated actions” to prosecute Burisma (which led to a real effort to intervene on their part, albeit one carried out through paid lobbyists), has metadata showing a creation date of October 10, 2019 — after JPMI says he had already dropped off an envelope that would remain untouched for almost a year.
There are a bunch of other possible explanations for this metadata. But according to JPMI’s book, there would be documents saved to flash drive on or before October 8, then packaged up for a year.
But not after October 10.
True, JPMI accessed a similar set of emails again in the subsequent weeks, in preparation for his staged meeting with the FBI. But he describes those exclusively as printouts.
Ultimately, these are just weeds, inconsistent metadata that could either reflect sloppiness or could be intentional manipulation.
But they provide an interesting background to inconsistencies in the rest of JPMI’s story.