IRS First Received Hunter Biden’s iCloud Data on Same Day White House Released the Perfect Phone Call

The Delaware District Courthouse has unsealed much of what Judge Maryellen Noreika ordered unsealed last week. The major piece still outstanding are the Attachments for the most recent warrant describing the crimes they’re investigating and the things they’re permitted to seize, which is actually one of the most important things I was seeking to have unsealed.

The story the warrants generally tell is that investigators obtained Hunter Biden’s entire iCloud account on September 25, 2019, literally the same day it became clear Donald Trump had demanded an investigation into Hunter Biden. Then they got the laptop. The laptop led them to discover four device backups of interest. In summer 2020, they obtained warrants specific to those devices to access data already in hand.

And then, years later, 81 days after charging Hunter Biden for gun crimes, they obtained a warrant to search all that same digital evidence for evidence of gun crimes.

They really are claiming they didn’t think to search all the data they had for evidence of gun crimes until after they had the indictment in hand, 81 days after they indicted the President’s son. That is, at least for the moment, they are claiming that they never bothered to check for gun crime evidence in Hunter Biden’s texts until after they charged him.

And they made that admission in a filing arguing, “oh sure, we’ve been planning on charging these gun crimes for years.”

This late disclosure will undoubtedly raise a lot of questions about whether any of this data was presented to the grand jury (particularly given that Abbe Lowell would only have had notice of this warrant not long before we got it); if it was, it’d strongly suggest that investigators unlawfully searched Hunter’s data for gun crimes. Though thus far, that’s the most likely way any of this becomes illegal under the very generous precedents for criminal investigators.

Before I look more closely at what the individual warrants show, remember that these are not the only warrants. We know from this filter document Joseph Ziegler shared, for example, that investigators also searched this same data for FARA crimes — so there are almost certainly a parallel sent of warrants for those crimes. There are known warrants, such as for the Google account tied to Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca email, for other content that would have been less interesting for the gun crimes. There’s some epic funkiness with the treatment of the laptop.

But this is the story David Weiss has decided he can bring to a jury: that investigators obtained two parallel sets of Apple data, and very belatedly, literally after they indicted, decided to search it for alleged gun crimes that were committed before they obtained the first warrant.

August 29, 2019: Original iCloud warrant; warrant return

The first warrant unsealed obtained all the content for Hunter’s iCloud account. It permitted the search for evidence pertaining to the three tax crimes charged in Los Angeles: 26 USC 7201, 26 USC 7203, and 26 USC 7206(1) (though the probable cause statement could not have covered those charges for 2018, the primary tax year charged, as those alleged crimes had not been committed yet).

It asked for the entire content of the iCloud account, from January 2014 through the present; I originally questioned how they could show probable cause to obtain information from 2018 and 2019, as no tax crimes could have been committed yet in those years, but realize that so long as Hunter hadn’t paid his earlier tax years, the willful failure to pay continued.

The warrant did not mention Burisma by name, though Burisma might be covered under permission to search for evidence about business operations. The warrant did not mention the sex workers on which this entire investigation was predicated, but those would be covered under “personal expenditures.”

The warrant only asked for content related to one of the several email addresses Hunter used with Apple, RHBDC at iCloud, though probably got everything in response under Apple’s normal response to legal process. That could become pertinent later.

Here’s how Derek Hines described it in his response filing that first identified these warrants:

In August 2019, IRS and FBI investigators obtained a search warrant for tax violations for the defendant’s Apple iCloud account. 2 In response to that warrant, in September 2019, Apple produced backups of data from various of the defendant’s electronic devices that he had backed up to his iCloud account.

2 District of Delaware Case No. 19-234M

There are three things of interest in Hines’ description. He emphasizes that both the FBI and IRS were on this warrant, which might be an attempt to cover later plain view expansions of this investigation. He suggests, inaccurately, that the warrant focused on backups from Hunter’s phone, which is likely because he only wants to introduce texts at trial, not emails.

Most interestingly, Hines notes that the warrant was served in August but the data was returned in September.

The warrant shows that before investigators filed for a warrant in August 2019, they twice preserved Hunter’s data, on April 11, 2019 (which is the day Joseph Ziegler submitted his tax package to DOJ Tax for approval to open a grand jury investigation), and July 11, 2019.

The docket itself shows that Magistrate Judge Sherry Fallon issued a Magistrate’s order on September 12 (which remains sealed). That suggests that Apple may have challenged this warrant, delaying the return of the content until after that.

We may learn more about the content of this order in motions in the Los Angeles case (though once it was issued, investigators would be working under a Good Faith exception). As the July 2020 warrant reveals, Apple turned over the content on September 25, 2019 — the very day the White House would release the Perfect Phone Call revealing that Trump had been demanding an investigation into Hunter Biden personally.

On August 24, 2020, investigators sought a renewal of the original order sealing the docket. At least from what got unsealed, that’s the only actual renewal of sealing orders investigators ever got.

December 13, 2019: Original laptop warrant; warrant return

The second warrant obtained authorized the search of the laptop turned over from John Paul Mac Isaac. Here’s how Hines explained it:

Investigators also later came into possession of the defendant’s Apple MacBook Pro, which he had left at a computer store. A search warrant was also obtained for his laptop and the results of the search were largely duplicative of information investigators had already obtained from Apple. 4

4 District of Delaware Case No. 19-309M

It was actually served by the FBI agent who served the subpoena on JPMI on the CART guy.

Mike Waski may know details of how — according to JPMI — the laptop came to be accessed four days before this warrant. Or he could be “computer guy” who didn’t bother to validate the content of the laptop for over 10 months.

In their (absolutely atrocious) coverage of these warrants, NYPost claimed to have seen an earlier warrant.

A third search warrant was obtained Dec. 13, 2019, to examine the now-first son’s infamous Apple MacBook Pro laptop and a hard drive — the same one containing a copy of Biden’s laptop that computer store owner John Paul Mac Isaac made to give to Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello, an earlier warrant reviewed by The Post shows.

Given that the rest of Priscilla DeGregory’s story betrays not the remotest inkling of understanding of what she’s looking at, McGregory may be thinking of the December 9 subpoena to JPMI, but I suspect Abbe Lowell may learn if there’s an earlier one when he points out that according to JPMI, the FBI accessed the content of this laptop before the December 13 warrant, possibly in a way that is forensically unsound.

Attachment B in this warrant is similar to the one in the first warrant. It has this boilerplate paragraph, which would cover the government if they sent Bill Barr a copy on December 14.

But, largely because of the difference between cloud data and devices, it has different language pertaining to attribution.

The iCloud warrant describes it this way:

Hunter is undoubtedly the email account owner. But there is very good reason to believe that between January 1, 2014 and August 29, 2019, Hunter was not the only user. Indeed, this scope of time would cover the compromise that Lev Parnas says happened when Hunter was in Kazakhstan.

Among other things, this language should put the government on the hook for aberrations in Hunter’s iCloud access in advance of treating the laptop uncritically.

Now compare that with the attribution language used on the laptop warrant.

Most expansively, this device was only owned starting in October 2018 (when Hunter no longer owned it and whether he ever owned the hard drive remain very much contested), and I’ve got questions about whether others used it. And JPMI undoubtedly “used” both devices.

Bookmark that detail.

July 10, 2020 iCloud warrant; warrant return

The permission to search for passwords as evidence of “user attribution” could become mildly important given the third warrant which (as I’ve already noted), Derek Hines simply mentions as an afterthought.

a follow up search warrant, District of Delaware Case Number 20-165M.

In July 2020, investigators used this warrant to access content already in their possession tied to four specific devices. The warrant describes clearly that this is the content they received from Apple on September 25, 2019 (again, the same day the Perfect Phone Call transcript revealed that Trump was demanding investigations just like this one). And the warrant clearly shows that the data was stored at the FBI office in Wilmington.

I’ll return to the devices later. With these devices, as with all of Hunter’s iCloud content and devices from the period of his addiction, investigators would need to prove that content on the devices was put there while they were still in Hunter’s possession and that he was the one who backed up the phones.

But what Derek Hines is not telling Judge Maryellen Noreika is that the reason investigators came to have an interest in these four devices is because they accessed the content of those four devices from the laptop.

They got a warrant to access the same content from the Apple production. But they don’t claim to have obtained a warrant to access the same content on the laptop, and we know thanks to Gary Shapley that they only accessed one of these devices using a password they found on the laptop (again, that particular factoid is what sent me down this rabbit hole in the first place).

I’ll come back to the question of whether that’s a problem or not.

December 4, 2023: Post-indictment warrant; warrant return (less attachments) Attachments AB

Finally, there’s the December 4, 2023 warrant, the reason I asked to get these unsealed in the first place.

Law enforcement also later obtained a search warrant to search the defendant’s electronic evidence for evidence of federal firearms violations and to seize such data. 5

5 District of Delaware Case No. 23-507M.

When Derek Hines described this warrant, he tried to hide that by “later” he meant, “81 days after obtaining the indictment,” and — from the submission of the signed return dated yesterday, it appears that Special Agent Boyd Pritchard was still searching this content when the dockets were unsealed yesterday.

As noted above, the Delaware Clerk has not yet complied with Judge Noreika’s order with regards to this warrant. I’m going to see if I can’t get them to do so and if I succeed I’ll add some update. But for now, I can’t compare search protocols with those earlier warrants or see what crimes of which Pritchard said he was search for evidence. [Update: They have now provided the Attachments]

The Attachments basically just trace through the three earlier warrants (iCloud; laptop; backups — though they are not in order), then authorize searching the content for evidence of the gun crimes charged 81 days earlier.

Effectively, three days after a meet-and-confer phone call with Abbe Lowell following up on all the discovery requests David Weiss was blowing off, including these two bullets, they obtained a warrant to access his texts — they claim, for the very first time.

The user attribution could have some interesting repercussions, not least because it’s not clear these devices were “used” by Hunter when the content was added to them.

Of some interest, in the response, Hines didn’t mention the call from Joe Biden telling Hunter to get help reported by the Daily Mail. Since investigators seem to have so little appreciation for what happened with Hunter’s devices before and after the FBI obtained this warrant, they may not understand there’s evidence in the public record that won’t exist on the laptop, which therefore they would not have gotten a warrant to access.

In a different world, the serial discovery of what a mess Hunter’s digital mess was might have led law enforcement officers to start investigating whether there was a reason it was such a mess.

Not these guys. They just decided to take the assist criminals gave them to investigate Joe Biden’s son.

And with regards to the Apple content (it’s likely investigators got Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca account first, which shows even more evidence of deliberate compromise), they first received it on the same day the White House revealed that Trump had extorted Volodymy Zelenskyy for just such an investigation.

Updated with the AB Attachments from the most recent warrant.

Update: Corrected my reference to Matt/Mike.

Update: Corrected Pritchard’s first name now too. [Sigh!]

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80 replies
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  2. zscoreUSA says:

    Doesn’t Mac Isaac say “Matt” called with computer questions not “Mike”?

    Possibly Mac Isaac changing name for the book. He claimed to have joked with the interviewing FBI agents that he would change their names whenever he writes the book. And Demeo appears to be a fake name, Marco Polo cites a different, similar name.

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks, as always. Fixed it.

      One way or another, Lowell will have cause to ask for that chain of custody, given that prosecutors very belatedly (post motions deadline) decided they wanted to use these texts.

    • Maureen A Donnelly says:

      best user name ever! made me smile and think back to genetics when our professor gave us z-scores on exams. i never had a clue where i stood in the rankings until he praised me one day on campus for a great job! it didn’t matter if i studied six hours or six days–you either groked genetics or you didn’t back in the early 70s. thanks for your eye on these details. so much mischief afoot. i hope abbe lowell exposes just how “unrighteous” this prosecution of hunter is.

  3. Rugger_9 says:

    I really have to wonder what tattered case will remain after the motions to suppress and dismiss by Lowell. If I read the post correctly, all of these warrants are tainted by their apparent genesis from laptop data and other compromised / faked information.

    Unless SC Weiss is a ‘true believer’ I can’t grasp why he’d set fire to his career this way. Also, the apparent hand of AG Barr is also present as an undercurrent which in a just world would finish his rehabilitation tour. However, that depends on the courtier press reporting this accurately which they have not done until now.

    • emptywheel says:

      One issue here is that they don’t appear to have disclosed they got this warrant until after his motions deadline.

    • CaptainCondorcet says:

      It’s been shown that even individual SCOTUS members can be bought. I imagine Weiss has received entirely indirect never truly illegal promises that if he plays his part in this circus, he will have a powerful appointment when Trump wins and a generous ” do nothing” job if somehow Trump doesn’t

    • Badger Robert says:

      I am quietly following this line of inquiry. Since the improper firearm was never used to commit a crime of violence, this analysis by Dr. Wheeler is relevant to causing the court and a potential jury some serious doubt.

  4. zscoreUSA says:

    Interesting, the warrant which was signed 12/4/23 has a different device ID for the MacBook Pro, while the attachment included in the update has the familiar ID associated with the Mac Isaac laptop since 2020.

    The new warrant doesn’t reference the Mac Isaac laptop for some reason. And it lists a f/n instead of s/n, I have no idea the difference, but the f/n shows up on a search of s/n for Apple devices

    Mac Isaac laptop: s/n https://www.imei.info/apple-sn-check/?sn=FVFXC2MMHV29
    New Warrant: f/n https://www.imei.info/apple-sn-check/?sn=FVFVC2MMHV2G

    Both a 2017 model no-touchbar MacBook Pro, so have a removable hard drive. Though the new one was physically manufactured a year earlier. Maybe the investigators mounted the hard drive onto a different, workable MacBook Pro.

      • zscoreUSA says:

        That was the very first thing I noticed about your article yesterday, which included a screenshot with the different device number

        • Shadowalker says:

          Great. They lost (or it’s no longer functioning) the original laptop. Why didn’t they use the drive’s S/N?

          • emptywheel says:

            zscore’s explanation makes some sense. The notes on accessing this strongly suggest they just mounted the hard drive in another laptop.

            • Shadowalker says:

              The data resides on the drive, not the laptop.

              It’s different for integrated drives, since they could put the memory anywhere on the MB.

              • Rugger_9 says:

                It does question the chain of custody and really means that any ‘laptop’ related items need to be barred as evidence.

                • Tech Support says:

                  It also raises the question of whether they deliberately chose to use an f/n instead of an s/n on the later warrant to obfuscate those chain of custody problems.

                    • Shadowalker says:

                      Near as I can find out, it’s short for Fabrication Number to designate it as factory refurbished.

                    • Tech Support says:

                      I’m not really an Apple person but often times laptops have other unique identifiers associated with them, like a service tag.

                      So my first reaction was that f/n was some similar alternative identifier. However on doing a little digging I’m not turning anything up. I did turn up some references similar to Shadowalker’s above, but those appear to be specific to iPhones, not Macs, and if the number in question was using that format it would not have turned up in the search you were able to generate.

                      So on reflection, it would appear that “f/n” is simply a typo, unless they are somehow trying to invent an alternative identifier as some bizarre way of obfuscating that the device is not the same device. Seems unlikely but there’s prior precedent for stupid shenanigans already.

            • BuffaloNick says:

              I don’t understand how someone working for the FBI, but clearly not qualified to do forensics at all, yet this is the guy handling the most crucial piece of evidence in this entire affair?
              Makes no sense to me. Period. To say that taking a hard drive from one computer and putting it into another one is missing remedial forensics knowledge is an overstatement. Anyone who has any credible knowledge of forensics knows that 101 level knowledge is to do the exact opposite.

              It just makes 0 sense why the guy was not fired for at minimum stepping way outside of his job duties.

              • fatvegan000 says:

                Maybe there weren’t any die-hard loyalists that were competent for Barr to entrust the laptop with. I mean, someone apolitical and competent would have been alerted by all the red flags Marcy describes and started investigating the origins of the laptop, right?

                • HikaakiH says:

                  It would be fitting if this case (or a goodly chunk of it) got tossed because the authoritarians ginning it up valued loyalty over competence.

      • zscoreUSA says:

        Btw Mac Isaac has admitted to going to these websites where people can search the serial number for device specs. Which clearly shows the device is 2017 with a removable hard drive. Yet he continues his line that it’s 2016 laptop with a soldered hard drive.

        Mac Isaac stated this in an interview to rebuke Maxey’s claim of somehow obtaining nearly double the data that would fit on the hard drive per the specs at a Apple device checker website.

      • klynn says:

        IANAL nor an intel techie:

        Would this observation by zscoreUSA compound the taint you have addressed?

        Would this be done to avoid having evidence tampering discovered or introduced?

        Or just a “how it’s done?”

        • emptywheel says:

          I think it’s just a fuckup. No different than misspelling seize at first.

          Abbe Lowell could challenge the veracity of the warrant. Or wait until he gets to trial, if it comes to that. But if I were him I’d wait until trial to make it impossible for them to fix the error.

          • klynn says:

            There have been SO many f-ups on this.

            Waiting until trial sounds smart.

            Having to explain the f-ups, looks bad and sounds bad to a jury. Rule I was told by a mentor: when you are having to explain, you are losing.

          • Shadowalker says:

            That is if they get anything useable from the search. I noticed they listed “evidence indicating the state of mind” in attachment B.

          • wetzel-rhymes-with says:

            I think it’s because Hunter Biden’s laptop isn’t any one thing. It’s a Jungian archetype.

              • wetzel-rhymes-with says:

                Animus is what has made Hunter Biden’s Laptop. It’s an archetype from the Trickster family like the Joker or Loki.

                Hunter Biden’s Laptop gestated during the Waltpurgusnacht of Hunter’s addictive hallucinations. It was introduced to the world by Rudy Guiliani as propaganda. It is beyond truth and fiction, ersatz and Orwellian, so it’s impossible to pin down what actually is Hunter Biden’s laptop.

                Apparently Hunter Biden’s Laptop appeared at a computer store where a blind man worked on it, but this is not the same laptop the prosecutors have, though apparently it is, or maybe the true version of Hunter Biden’s Laptop is “in the Cloud”. It’s impossible to say.

                In psychology, there’s a stage in child development where animus in the imagination ‘animates’ inaminate objects. SpongeBob is a classic example of the trickster archetype, a mischievous and playful character who refuses to grow up. SpongeBob uses his cunning to outsmart his enemies, and he often plays pranks on his friends.

                Hunter Biden’s Laptop comes from the animus of adults. Its reality is a sign of our eschatological condition. Maybe Hunter Biden’s Laptop has played a trick on the prosecution here. The shadow expression of the Trickster is the enemy of creativity, but maybe Hunter Biden’s Laptop is meant to be an agent of liberation.

                • Rayne says:

                  Wow. This merits a paper examining the use of animated objects to manipulate the masses for the purposes of changing election outcomes. By animate I mean distort shared perception of reality around an object.

                  Each time these right-wing monsters conjure an object they animate, they do so with increasing complexity. Before Obama was elected it was his birth certificate, animated using a rather simple “Schroedinger’s cat” spell of enchantment — is this the birth certificate of an American or not? The answer was yes but to certain minds there is no valid US birth certificate; they didn’t need the object, they only needed the spell to be cast to allow them to see the object as other than valid.

                  With the 2016 hacking of the DNC’s server they enhanced the either/or question, asking “where is the server?” when there was no single server but multiple and virtualized servers as well as DNC laptops. The same minds under the birther spell demand the server having been authorized to demand a simple fetish object which doesn’t exist.

                  And then the 2020 election where multiple objects like states’ election certificates and electors and the final vote itself are animated in theory — they move from legitimacy to illegitimacy depending on one’s perspective. We’re supposed to believe all the elections of GOP officials down ticket are legitimate but the Dem at the top of the ticket is illegitimate. Rely on the voting machines but don’t; rely on certifiers but don’t.

                  Now they are using mere words in place of an object: “Hunter Biden’s laptop” is whatever they say it is at the moment, “Hunter Biden’s gun” possesses the same mythic attributes, and then “Hunter Biden’s crimes” become whatever virtual extension they conjure by suggestion.

                  It’s a slowly evolving model of Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation: “…The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.” When it comes to “Hunter Biden’s Laptop” we’re all the way into the fourth order, a collection of complete simulacra completely detached from real objects Hunter Biden used.

    • Badger Robert says:

      More serious doubt. A qualified expert could explain how the contents of the hard drive could be supplemented or edited.

    • NH2ME_barn says:

      From discussion-apple-com: (seems authoritative)
      The first letter in the model number represents the source of the device. Currently, there are four known possible choices:
      “F”: refurbished unit
      “M”: retail unit
      “N”: replacement unit
      “P”: personalized (engraved) unit

      • zscoreUSA says:

        According to beetstech, the first digit in Apple’s 12 digit serial number indicates location of manufacture. So “F” indicates Fremont, California.
        https://beetstech.com/blog/decode-meaning-behind-apple-serial-number

        I suspect f/n might be an internal designation indicating that the device is modified in some way, in this case in order to mount a hard drive taken from the water damaged Mac Isaac laptop. But that’s just my guess.

        That they use f/n in the warrant and Mac Isaac s/n in attachment suggests to me that the entire investigative/prosecution team is not the most well-oiled machine in the factory. But I don’t know what is normal.

        • Shadowalker says:

          I’ve seen f/n used before as factory markings. I think what happened is a major component such as the processor (which has its own s/n by another manufacturer) was replaced and Apple had to give the unit an f/n designation to reflect the change. Then Apple communicates the change to Intel so everyone knows for their own inventory control.

    • Accidentalist says:

      >Maybe the investigators mounted the hard drive onto a different, workable MacBook Pro.

      That seems to have been the intention – see here ( last blockquote at the bottom).

  5. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    As always, excellent article and outstanding research!

    One day, hopefully in my lifetime, someone will be able to publicly explain in chronological detail how Putin used Trump and Trump subsequently used Guiliani, Pompeo, Nunes, and many other Republican Party knuckleheads to fire Marie Yavonovich, steal and corrupt Hunter Biden’s computer/drives, etc., extort Zelinsky on the telephone and elsewhere, all in hopes of guaranteeing Trump would be president again from 2021-2024.

    All of this crap is connected and part of Putin’s scheme to use Trump to further the interests of the Putin/Mogilevich/Abramovich organized crime syndicate in the US.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      If anyone could write that incredible history of how those types attempted to destroy democracy in the US, it would be Marcy. Or at least supply a huge amount of the underlying material. Archivist and Investigator Extraordinaire.

  6. boatgeek says:

    Question for the lawyers out there: What do you think the chances are of this clusterfuck allowing Abbe Lowell to exclude evidence from the trial? It seems likely that a lot of the iCloud data and/or the “laptop” data could be excluded on a whole bunch of grounds. If that goes, what’s left, and does that leave enough evidence to actually get a conviction? [Leaving aside the vindictive/politically motivated prosecution lines of dismissal for the moment]

    • emptywheel says:

      I don’t think one “leave[s] aside” those dismissal lines. First, because this late warrant makes dismissal more likely (though still uncertain). But also, I’ve noted that the LA case is on a quick timeline and OUT THERE, some of this evidence can be excluded on different grounds.

      There are a lot of pieces in play.

      • Maureen A Donnelly says:

        Thanks so much for all that you do and for going live weekly with Nicole Sandler!!! “There are a lot of pieces at play.” is my favorite understatement about this can of phuck. Great community you have built here to educate us all. I hope Abbe Lowell’s people know of this site.

  7. Ginevra diBenci says:

    The NY Post’s use of the words “infamous laptop” really condenses the entire narrative as fed to a gullible press. They have rendered Hunter Biden’s entire life “infamous” through their careless treatment of this complicated story. It shouldn’t be too complicated for Devlin Barrett, but the shortcuts he took through the initial sketchy provenance of “the” laptop contributed greatly to giving credibility to what seems more and more like politically motivated and very selective prosecution.

    My own lack of tech training may taint my perception, but it sure seems like the entire laptop falls apart as a source of ironclad evidence, given the demonstrable compromises to Hunter’s security. I would like to know where that FARA case went, but it now seems like it was (or became) merely cover for pursuing evidence of absolutely anything else.

  8. grizebard says:

    Minor correction: The latterday FBI reviewer mentioned above is not “Ben” but Boyd Prichard, according to the docs…

  9. John Paul Jones says:

    (Attachment says “Boyd Pritchard” not “Ben.”)

    Over-zealous prosecutors indeed. It would be comic if not for the real-world consequences (death threats) for Hunter and all the people even slightly associated with him.

  10. wetzel-rhymes-with says:

    Some minor copyediting.

    “But for now, I can’t compare search protocols with those earlier warrants or see what crimes of which Pritchard said he was search for evidence.”

    “In a different world, the serial discovery of what a mess Hunter’s digital mess was might have led law enforcement officers to start investigating whether there was a reason it was such a mess.”

    Maybe “Hunter’s digital universe”? It has “mess” three times anyway.

    Incredible post!

  11. Barringer says:

    As always, thank you Dr. Wheeler for your tenacious work.

    Seeing the rampant “end justifying the means” work ethic on the part of these politically motivated agents sure gives us all a clear and hideous picture of what a weaponized DOJ will look like.

  12. WilliamOckham says:

    Hunter Biden’s Reply Brief [ https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67511701/81/united-states-v-biden/?redirect_or_modal=True ] has been filed and, once again, I gotta say Abbe Lowell is a good writer (or has one on staff or both). Irrespective of the strength of his legal arguments (which I am not qualified to judge as I am not a lawyer), he absolutely skewers the prosecution. He makes his central contention very clear. The prosecution agreed to the plea, got criticized by Trump flunkies in the House, and backed off.

    My favorite part was this:

    most disturbing and contrary to its pointing to texts and photos as part of the “overwhelming evidence” claim, the prosecution did not even obtain a search warrant for firearms offenses to obtain those texts and photos until three months after it brought the charges.

  13. harpie says:

    TL of info from this post:

    January 2014 to 8/29/19 The scope of the original 8/29/19 iCloud WARRANT, which asked for “the entire content of the iCloud account, from January 2014 through the present.”

    October 2018 H BIDEN buys THE LAPTOP

    4/11/19 INVESTIGATORS preserve H Biden’s data

    This is ALSO the day Joseph ZIEGLER submits his tax package to DOJ Tax for approval to open a grand jury investigation.

    7/11/19 INVESTIGATORS preserve H Biden’s data

    8/29/19 Date of the original iCloud WARRANT for “the entire content of the iCloud account, from January 2014 through the present.”

    9/12/19 Magistrate Judge Fallon issues an order (which remains sealed)

    9/25/19 INVESTIGATORS receive data requested in 8/29/19 WARRANT

    This is ALSO the day the TRUMP WH releases the “transcript” of TRUMP’s 7/25/19 “perfect call” with ZELENSKY

    12/9/19 FBI obtains THE LAPTOP, which they begin to access immediately [according to JPMI]
    THE LAPTOP leads them to discover four device backups of interest

    12/13/19 Original WARRANT for THE LAPTOP is executed
    [The NYP claims to have seen an earlier WARRANT]

    Marcy: Attachment B in this warrant is similar to the one in the first warrant. It has this boilerplate paragraph, which would cover the government if they sent Bill Barr a copy on [12/14/19]

    7/10/20 INVESTIGATORS access iCloud data [in their possession since 9/25/19], which is tied to four specific devices; the data is being stored at the FBI office in Wilmington.

    Marcy: But what Derek Hines is not telling Judge Maryellen Noreika is that the reason investigators came to have an interest in these four devices is because they accessed the content of those four devices from [THE LAPTOP].

    8/24/20 INVESTIGATORS seek a renewal of Judge Fallon’s original 9/12/19 Order sealing the docket

    Marcy: At least from what got unsealed, that’s the only actual renewal of sealing orders investigators ever got.

    9/14/23 SC WEISS, and ASCs HINES and WISE obtain INDICTMENT of H BIDEN on three firearms violations in District of Delaware

    This is 81 days BEFORE the 12/4/23 search warrant HINES relies on to search Hunter Biden’s iCloud content for evidence of those firearms violations.

    12/1/23 A meet-and-confer phone call between WEISS and LOWELL, during which Lowell follows up on all the discovery requests Weiss is blowing off

    12/4/23 INVESTIGATORS obtain their Post-[9/14/23]-indictment WARRANT to access H BIDEN’s texts [Marcy:] “they claim, for the very first time.”

  14. fatvegan000 says:

    Not sure if this means anything in this instance, but if you look at the photo of the signatures on the second warrant, the signatures are in blue ink, but the line-out of “and inventory” is black ink.

    I worked in a QA lab once and this would be flagged by an FDA inspector as an indication the line out and the signatures were done at different times or by a person other than the blue ink signers (and the line-out would have to have a date and initial next to it for it to be legit).

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