John Paul Mac Isaac’s Undisclosed Home Movie

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.

Rudolph Giuliani

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.

78 replies
  1. Mister_Sterling says:

    Ms. Wheeler never fails to impress us, but the quantity of revelations and detail in this week’s posts have left us breathless. This has been a remarkable week for this blog. For years we have been saying that the laptop is not a laptop. There it is.

  2. Upisdown says:

    Wow. Another gaping hole in their story. It’s really looking like Swiss cheese.

    This afternoon while I was re-reading Devon Archer’s transcript because of easily debunked comments by Mike Johnson regarding the 22 phone calls/meetings, something caught my eye. It deals with the claim that Hunter Biden had no background in the energy industry to warrant landing on Burisma’s board in 2014.

    Here’s the key section from page 40:

    12 A Yeah. I remember a dinner in Paris with a French energy company that
    13 was — we were speaking to an advisor, and then — we were speaking to. And it was
    14 really a Rosemont Seneca Advisors type of — a Rosemont Seneca Advisors kind of a pitch,
    15 at the end of the day. And there was a talk, and he said that we’re at this — you know,
    16 we’re at this restaurant in Paris, and he put him on the speaker. So that did happen.
    17 There were other people there.
    18 Q Who else was there?
    19 A There was me, myself; Hunter; Eric Schwerin; and then the executives from
    20 the French energy company.
    21 Q Do you remember the name of that company?
    22 A I’m sure you could find it. It was probably, like, a 2011, you know, trip
    23 planning. But it was a very large French energy company.

    So, Hunter was dealing with “a very large” energy firm in 2011, but he was unqualified to work for a much smaller firm in 2014? That’s a fairly large hole in their story.

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      Do you mean the FBI not using/releasing the video? I’m sorry to be confused – it’s just that so many people have used (and/misused) “Hunter Biden” “laptop” “evidence” that I can’t keep up, even with MARCY’S scorecard. 🤔

      • John Paul Jones says:

        The Shapley/FBI timeline shows the interview happening on 7 November, a week before the first impeachment hearing. MacIsaac’s timeline places it on 19 November, when the impeachment process is well under way.

        I assume that, technically, it is possible to alter the time-stamp on a video recording. But the ineptness with which MacIsaac set up his recording hints that he may not have the expertise to do so after the fact, i.e., fiddle with the metadata.

        My further assumption, based on Doc Wheeler’s post, was that MacIsaac made it in the first place so that he could release it. Does the FBI have a copy of the video? Don’t know, but I strongly doubt they would bother, since it shows nothing. And as Marcy’s post points out:

        “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.”

        They wouldn’t need to take the documents if they planned to acquire the drive, which already contains the documents. As to MacIsaac’s opinion about what the documents show, my guess would be that the agents would listen politely, but that’s all.

        Apologies for any (unintentional) obscurities in my original response.

  3. Harry Eagar says:

    While I am prepared o believe any bad thing about these plotters, I do have trouble imagining the same group of people 1) running these intricate schemes and 2) not able to execute a telephone call to a hotel in Philadelphia.

  4. zscoreUSA says:

    Very interesting to look at the home video, and why it didn’t get entered into public discourse by Mac Isaac.

    It is really interesting to look at the laptop dates in context with what is going on in news. A lot of the laptop events seem like they are in reaction to something in the news.

    Such as the 90 day Mac Isaac rule going into effect righggghhhht before Trump’s perfect call to Zelensky. It should assumed to be purely coincidence of course, but very interesting.
    [It has bothered me since this story became public that the NY Post didn’t even fact check it the 90 day thing has always been Mac Isaac’s policy, like reviewing old work orders or if he just created that policy]

    After reading this article and reviewing the timeline, a few things stood out to me that I didn’t previously notice.

    Here is a 4/7/19 article by John Solomon

    One focus of Ukrainian investigators, Kulyk said, has been money spirited unlawfully out of Ukraine and moved to the United States by businessmen friendly to the prior, pro-Russia regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

    If Ukrainian prosecutors can augment their allegations with real evidence, there could be a true case of collusion worth investigating.

    The first paragraph above stood out because people like Miranda Devine go on and on about Zlochevsky as Russia -aligned and close to Yanukovyich. And the second paragraph stood out as almost a call to action to get the “real evidence” into the DOJ to “augment ” political warfare attacks, just 5 days before the laptop shows up to Mac Isaac on April 12.

    • Rayne says:

      They were scrambling — the clock was working against them so they had to get ahead of “the laptop.” None of the activity immediately around “the laptop” occurred in a vacuum.

      31-DEC-2018 — Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced his candidacy for Ukraine’s presidential election
      XX-JAN-2019 — Rudy Giuliani met with Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko in NYC
      13-FEB-2019 — On/around this date, Giuliani met with Lutsenko in Warsaw, Poland
      28-FEB-2019 — Congress notified about aid tranches to be released to Ukraine
      XX-MAR-2019 — Date TBD – Lutsenko relaunches an investigation into Burisma
      20-MAR-2019 — The Hill’s John Solomon interviewed Lutsenko for Hill.TV (what a fucking coinky-dink *eye roll*)
      31-MAR-2019 — Zelenskyy survived first round of Ukraine’s presidential election
      07-APR-2019 — Solomon’s bullshit push piece in The Hill
      12-APR-2019 — “the laptop” package arrived at JPMI
      21-APR-2019 — Zelenskyy won second and final round of Ukraine’s presidential election
      25-APR-2019 — former VP Joe Biden formally launched his campaign for POTUS
      09-MAY-2019 — Ken Vogel-NYT article announced Giuliani going to Ukraine to help Trump’s campaign wrt Hunter Biden investigation
      11-MAY-2019 — Ken Vogel-NYT article announced Giuliani had to cancel trip blaming Democrats’ anger
      20-MAY-2019 — Zelenskyy inaugurated
      21-MAY-2019 — Zelenskyy dissolved Ukraine’s parliament months ahead of schedule
      01-JUN-2019* — Zelenskyy submitted a motion to parliament asking for Lutsenko to be dismissed
      02-JUL-2019* — Zelenskyy asked parliament again to dismiss Lutsnenko
      21-JUL-2019 — Snap elections held for parliament
      25-JUL-2019 — Trump made quid pro quo to Zelenskyy during “perfect call”
      29-AUG-2019* — Lutsenko resigned on new parliament’s first work day

      I could go on but you can see how events began to snowball after Zelenskyy announced his candidacy. They didn’t want to lose control of Ukraine’s prosecutor general or parliament, both of which could have throttled military aid with investigations and assured “the laptop” payload was maxmized going into 2020.

      *adder – accidentally omitted these points which are relevent

      • zscoreUSA says:

        The ridiculousness of Hunter Biden’s laptop is exceeded only by its mystery and its power.

        Does it really matter if Hunter, his laptop, or his investigation “should” be in the public discourse? It’s there regardless of whether it should be and in the absence of people digging in and pushing back in the narratives, rw media and politics are going to be able to control a narrative that will influence people out in the world.

        So I am thankful that your website is covering this topic and challenging the narratives.

    • emptywheel says:

      Note, Kulyk seems to be the person most likely to have ties to The Economist and Rollie–Buma’s soures.

  5. Fancy Chicken says:

    I have always thought that JPMI sounded like a plant or a cutout or whatever is the right word, maybe patsy, for this whole laptop fiasco. As I began reading this post I was struck even more so by that thought.

    I’m not sure how Faux News reported on Rudy’s “investigation” of Hunter Biden, but still it would take more than a devoted MAGAt who knew all the buzzword players from Faux or tweets to do the kind of synthesis that JPMI claims he was able to do from the “laptop”.

    This is the same guy that had to have the term “slow walking” explained to him by Costello and I’m suppose to believe he did a Dr. Wheeler like job on examining emails and doing extensive online research to understand the events and the players he talks about???

    Not a chance. None of what he claims to have put together in his book came from him. It was spoon fed to him by other nefarious actors who had implemented this smear job against the Bidens before JPMI was ever on the scene.

    Talk about a bank account I’d like to see or a crypto wallet. I’m sure JPMI benefited financially from the role he agreed to play.

    • P J Evans says:

      There are people who can do that kind of thing, but they
      (1) aren’t cheap
      (2) don’t go out for publicity
      (3) don’t need to run hole-in-the-wall computer stores (see 1)

      • Harry Eagar says:

        The idea of Mac Isaac as a stooge is appealing (and though blind he seems to have less trouble reading sans serif computerese than I do), but against that there’s the multiple incarnations of the laptop/mirror images.

        Wouldn’t a first-rate plotter have avoided that?

    • earthworm says:

      yes, fancy chicken —
      “I have always thought that JPMI sounded like a plant or a cutout or whatever is the right word, maybe patsy,…”
      yeah, the blind computer repairman, how convenient.
      and plus, he is supposedly vision impaired/blind when here he is, setting up for videos, jumping in his car to drive around to his friend to squirrel away another copy of the nefarious “laptop”….
      what the heck, the guy is totally hinky.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        JPMI describes himself as “poking around” in the contents of one* of Hunter Biden’s laptops. That in itself should invalidate those contents for any kind of forensic investigation, most of all any prosecution of HB.

        *He also describes HB as dropping off *three* computers, two of which seem to mysteriously disappear. So what are the various “laptop” investigations based on–the one JPMI poked around in, one of the others, or some amalgam of all three?

  6. Another dude from G-ville says:

    Anyone know what happened to the other two laptops that were dropped off? Surely data could have been recovered from them. Seems even more strange.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      It’s clearly bullshit. What judge would allow evidence after the laptop has been fucked around with during an amateur forensics search?

      • bmaz says:

        I believe I have said that all along. Any attempt to get this garbage into evidence at a criminal trial will be laughable.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          Especially with Lowell on the case for HB. I’d asked before what would be left of Weiss’ case once Lowell got through his dissection of the provenance of Weiss’ information, and I don’t think it’s much.

          Durham might have competition for the quickest acquittal in a federal case.

          However, it will also be interesting to see how long Comer will string this out (Weiss won’t fold until Comer does) but that will take pushback from the RWNM which hasn’t happened yet.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Yes! I hadn’t read your comment when I wrote mine (in moderation now) wondering the same thing.

  7. wclark57 says:

    1. Would the FBI agents allow themselves to be videotaped in this way?
    2. If JPMI secretly videotaped the FBI agents, would that be a problem for him?
    3. Would the FBI simply accept the printed emails as evidence?
    4. Would the FBI have at lease admonished JPMI for violating Hunter’s privacy by looking into the drive and printing emails from it?
    5. Would the FBI have considered the hard drive as evidence against Hunter considering JPMI had been in it? (yes they may have accepted the hard drive to see if it had been manipulated…., but would they have been able to use it as evidence).

      • Peterr says:

        As to #1, there are a whole bunch of businesses with surveillance cameras these days. If the FBI go into one of these places, there’s no issue about “allowing themselves” to be videotaped — they *will* be videotaped.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      About 20 years ago, a friend who is a pawnbroker had a computer left unclaimed. He wanted to use it for his business, but it was password-protected. So, he knew how to get around the BIOS.

      When he opened it up, there was child porn.

      I don’t know the answer to your questions as regards HBiden, but the guy who left the computer should be getting out of the penitentiary any day now.

  8. freebird says:

    JPMI appears delusional. As an independent computer repairer, he took in a machine without getting a deposit or a credit card authorization. Then after 90 days instead of wiping the hard drive and selling the machine, he peruses the data and sees all sorts of crimes as he turns his arbitary inferences into facts. Instead of turning the information over to law enforcement and stepping out of it, he calls in Giuliani who turns this whole thing into a farce.

    JPMI is like the “deus ex machina” from the ancient myths. However, JPMI may well bankrupt himself just like Giuliani is doing in trying to help Trump.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      The classic instance of a deus ex machina is the ending of Euripides’ “Medea” where Medea’s grandpa, the sun-god, rescues her with a heavenly chariot. The ending of Aeschylus’ “Orestian Trilogy” is also a kind of DEM: Athena shows up and imposes a settlement on the parties.

      Greek theatre actually used a sort of crane to present such things, so Medea literally is rescued by a god using a machine.

    • P J Evans says:

      ISTR here someone pointing out that Delaware law gives people a full year to claim property they left somewhere.
      JPMI didn’t get ID of the person, a call-back address, or a phone number. You would think if he were any good that he’d START with that information, instead of making assumptions based on a sticker on the computer, which could have been added by anyone with access to such stickers.

  9. Matt Foley says:

    Where’s Alan Hostetter?
    Trump didn’t mention him during his rant this morning. Neither did Fox. Hmm, wonder why.

    • timbozone says:

      Maybe the chance that Trump would burn Isaac out of pure malignance was too high; I mean, Trump’s a nasty bigot that likes to make fun of disabled people in public given half a chance…

  10. says:

    Trump appeals Chutkan’s denial of his divine right to be king.

    And tells Chutkan she must stay the criminal proceeding, but even if she doesn’t, because she doesn’t have jurisdiction over the case anymore, that Trump is simply going to act as if it’s stayed, thereby (a)voiding all deadlines for motions he now deems invalid. In other words, king Trump will continue acting as king, because Chutkan now has no power over him, because on paper, filed with the court, Trump and his lawyers declare this to be so.

      • says:

        Thx for sending link, for those of us not on Twitter.

        Marcy notes in her Twitter post that there is no precedent (matter of first impression), but I think the Gov’t might raise Younger and progeny …so the boat is not stern-less (even if it appears without it bow). It’s the closest we have to a reasonable argument that we should not stay CRIMINAL proceedings. It interps a federal statute, which addresses only STATE proceedings, but its reasoning notes the importance of not 2nd guessing CRIMINAL prosecutions.

        11th Circuit in Civil Special Master case, overturning Judge Cannon, leaned on this ‘criminal matters are different’ reasoning as well.

        Not hopeless, but tough!

        • bmaz says:

          “For those of us not on twitter”. Why? You can read it without using it. What value is some “Nitter” bullshit? Musk is a dipshit. He is ruining Twitter. But avoiding links, by citing “Nitter”, you know are real is beyond lame.

            • bmaz says:

              I do not. I just understand what selectively works, and what does not.

              And, by the way, I tried to tell people that Musk was a dipshit about the time this blog started. So Lol.

              • Just Some Guy says:

                X is rate-limited so that people without usernames/logins can’t read all tweets (“xits?”) or threads, whereas previously tweets were accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

                Nitter is just a mirror of X, which is useful for people who don’t want to use X but still want to read content on it.

                • bmaz says:

                  Lol, just create a protected account on twitter. It is a heck of a lot easier than all the other contretemps.

                  • Just Some Guy says:

                    My post wasn’t about my personal preferences, it was an explanation of the rationale behind why your colleagues would post a nitter link rather than an X link, as the former has clearly the advantage in potential audience reach.

                    • Rayne says:

                      We’ve talked about this repeatedly. You have your opinion about Twitter as does everyone else. There is nothing inherently wrong with Nitter — nothing that isn’t as least as wrong as X, and maybe less since Nitter can be used without having to provide the platform an active cell phone number.

                      The caveat with Nitter as well as with X is that at any time Musk can change the operations at X so that no one without a login at X can read posts there, thereby also cutting off Nitter. Screenshots of posts shared from another social media platform or website are a backstop, as is a copy of a post archived at the Wayback Machine.

                    • Just Some Guy says:

                      One can be read by anyone with a web browser, and the other can’t.

                      It’s not difficult to understand that advantage.

          • says:

            don’t do nitter either (or facebook, instagram, etc). Dyslexia TTS readers don’t interpret/orally read-aloud social media sites well, and with a reading-heavy vocation, being forced to read the 2 to 3 texts I get per day is about all the extra reading my brain can tolerate.

            Go try to read French twitter… for me, even in English, the abbreviations, acronyms, words on top of pictures, partial sentences, typos, typed words probably needing to be delivered with a tone of voice to be fully understood (sarcasm?)… English twitter is all French to me.

            a sacrifice to live a life without social media, perhaps, but given the brain i’ve been dealt, i get the pleasure of hearing Snoop Dogg (speechify paid voice) repeat “Principal Senior Assistant Special Counsel Leo Wise” 10 plus times — with increasing sarcasm and ‘attitude’ (in my imagination, of course), that i wonder if you ‘eye’ readers can fully grasp the cleverness of Marcy’s sense of humor!

            • says:

              I know this was not the answer you expected, but I can’t tell you how greatful I am for this site, and for you, bmaz, now that you’re writing in full sentences. I finally get a chance to understand what you are saying!

              And with this site being so accessibility friendly, I get to be a part of something I’ve missed. And my life is much richer because of it.

    • harpie says:

      1] TRUMP [12/7/23]: The Court incorrectly denied President Trump’s claim of Presidential immunity on the ground that such immunity does not extend to federal criminal prosecution for a President’s official acts.

      2] Marcy [12/7/23]: [on Xitter] Trump, as his attorneys have at every chance, misrepresents things. Judge Chutkan didn’t say Trump didn’t have immunity for official acts. She said he didn’t have immunity. Period.

      3] Chutkan [12/1/23]:

      Similarly, the court expresses no opinion on the additional constitutional questions attendant to Defendant’s assertion that former Presidents retain absolute criminal immunity for acts “within the outer perimeter of the President’s official” responsibility. Immunity Motion at 21 (formatting modified). Even if the court were to accept that assertion, it could not grant Defendant immunity here without resolving several separate and disputed constitutional questions of first impression, including: whether the President’s duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” includes within its “outer perimeter” at least five different forms of indicted conduct […]

      • SteveBev says:

        Dec 7, 2023

        MINUTE ORDER as to DONALD J. TRUMP: Upon consideration of Defendant’s 178 Motion for Order Regarding Automatic Stay of Proceedings Pending Appeal, it is hereby ORDERED that the government shall file any opposition to Defendant’s Motion by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 10, 2023, and that Defendant shall file any Reply by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 12/7/2023. (zjd)

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      My takeaway from a very fast read: We respectfully submit that if we refer to the defendant as “President” in the present tense, we get to tell the justice system to go effing eff itself.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    In Trump’s civil fraud trial in NY before Judge Engoron, the Appellate Division affirmed most of Judge Engoron’s order, finding that Trump and his co-defendants committed “pervasive widespread fraud” in their issuance of financial statements.

    It continued the stay regarding the dissolution of his companies. That would allow Engoron to appoint a receiver, but not allow the receiver to dissolve his companies. A receiver, though, would have considerably more power over Trump’s companies than a monitor. That should cause even Donald Trump to remember the Pit and the Pendulum.

    • Benji-am-Groot says:

      Foucault had it right, I wonder if he knew Poe. To paraphrase:

      ‘What comes around goes around.’

      Conversely based on the Raw Story link – are Karma’s pronouns ‘fuck around’ and ‘find out’?

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