How to Think about the Hunter Biden “Laptop”

As noted, yesterday the summary FBI witness in the Hunter Biden trial, Erika Jensen, testified that she did not do an analysis to find out whether any of the files on the laptop attributed to Hunter Biden, “had been tampered with, added to, or subtracted?” She also testified that, as someone who had, “a small basis of my understanding of how [FBI’s digital forensics experts] work” and having not done such an analysis, had not “seen any evidence whatsoever from the data [she] reviewed from [the] laptop to suggest that there was tampering”

Her job was not to do such an assessment. Her job was to do a summary of a very narrow cherrypick of files prosecutors asked her to summarize.

Indeed, her further testimony revealed how useless her opinion on the laptop is. Aside from matching the laptop serial number with one of at least seven laptops Hunter had used in the two years leading up to its delivery to John Paul Mac Isaac in 2019, the only other validation Jensen described was the emailed receipt JPMI sent Hunter Biden’s publicly identifiable email account on April 17, 2019, which is utterly and completely useless to validate the laptop. Jensen further described that she didn’t review any emails beyond a small handful prosecutors gave her. The file did not include the kind of metadata that would be necessary to assess its usefulness.

The investigative team had never validated whether anything had been added to the laptop before October 20, 2020. No one made an index before handing over the data in discovery to Hunter Biden’s team.

While everyone was focusing on Jensen’s testimony yesterday, Zoe Kestan actually gave far more interesting — and useful, for assessing the reliability of his data — testimony about Hunter’s digital life. She described, for example, that fairly early in their relationship, Hunter “sent me images of his credit card and asked me to call hotels and find somewhere for us to stay that night.” Kasten described that Hunter would get 5-minute codes and send them to her and to drug dealers so they could pull money from his ATM without his ATM card. She described how, sometime around March 2018, the two went together to drop broken devices off at an Apple store, but he left and she finished that process.

We went out for dinner one night, we went to the Apple store because his phone and his computer were broken, and he had to leave in the middle, so I dropped off, and you know, submitted his phone and laptop at the Apple store for him.

She testified he lost maybe 5 or 6 phones in the period they were in a relationship, a period intermittently spanning a year (though I think this might be high). She described trying to locate him once by logging into his bank account (the credentials for which were on her machine) to see where he was withdrawing money from an ATM. She described that he would do his business from her laptop.

This is just one person! And she had the means to totally pwn his life. As, too, undoubtedly, some of the drug dealers who supported his habit.

This is the kind of thing I’ve focused on for a long time. In the depths of his addiction, Hunter Biden exercised almost no digital security, meaning his girlfriends, his drug dealers, his sex workers, and even the junkies he partied with all had easy means to compromise his devices. And every time Hunter lost a device — the five to six Kasten testified to, the seven or so laptops he had over that year, two more phones she wouldn’t have known about — every single time, it would present the opportunity for someone to take over his digital identity as a bunch of right wing Trump supporters have since and tamper with it.

With all that said, I want to address all the reasons why no one should be admitting Hunter Biden’s digital data into a criminal trial without proving the provenance of each message.

Start with his iCloud. Contrary to widespread belief — belief sown by false claims from prosecutors parroted by credulous journalists — it is not true that all the data on the laptop was backed up to Hunter’s iCloud account.

As I have shown, only half the messages admitted in the trial came from one of two device backups saved to iCloud (these numbers are based off an early draft of the summary).

But there’s a mistaken belief that everything on his iCloud had to be authentic.

That’s because people like Kasten — and people who undoubtedly have a lot less affection for Hunter Biden — have devices that include the login data for Hunter’s iCloud or for phones that were set to back up automatically to iCloud. People with his devices might also be able to access his two main Gmail accounts, his RosemontSeneca one (which frequently suffered what Google believed to be compromises but which might just be Hunter trying to get in), or the droidhunter account he used for adult entertainment (which was accessed by a burner phone in a period when the droidhunter account had access to his iCloud during the period his digital life was packed onto to the laptop that would end up at the FBI).

The reason Hunter’s cloud data was vulnerable to tampering stems from the way he kept his own — and, per Kasten, his associates’ — laptops. We know from the hard drives shared publicly that that laptop included means to access Hunter’s iCloud, an iPad backed up exclusively to the laptop, the phone from which the most important texts used in his trial were extracted (protected by password), and the cookies and passwords to get into much of the rest of his digital life.

What everyone knows as the [multiple hard drives] copied from the laptop is better thought of as a set of a significant chunk of Hunter’s digital activity (much of it unavailable elsewhere), as well as keys that a sophisticated actor could use to access what was stored in the cloud.

And a whole lot of dick pics.

If we believe John Paul Mac Isaac, then he delivered that entire package of Hunter Biden’s digital life plus another two laptops,to the Mac Shop on April 12, 2019. (Remember that there’s another laptop in the wild, which purportedly was left at Keith Ablow’s guest cottage during the period some of this data was being assembled.)

Whether you believe that part of the story or not is not actually all that important. Except insofar as it raises the chances that what went into JPMI’s store was packaged up to maximal damage. Except insofar as right wingers and gossip columnists posing as journalists claim it gives them license to do anything they want with the data. Indeed, the way that story has been used as license to do something grotesque is about all that story does, whether true or not.

Which may be the point.

JPMI has made it clear he started snooping long before he claims his terms and conditions gave him property rights over the device (even if that extended to the data on the device, which Hunter’s team argues it does not). JPMI’s claims about what alarmed him enough to reach out the FBI and Congress and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer aren’t backed by the documents on the laptop. JPMI’s claims about what laptops he received that day don’t match the laptop shared with the FBI.

In other words, there are gaping holes all over JPMI’s story, which differs from the FBI’s story about what they did with the laptop in key ways.

And yet, that didn’t lead the FBI to validate the laptop associated with the iCloud account of the (then) former Vice President’s son beyond confirming that some but not all of the data matched what was in Hunter’s iCloud.

Whether you believe JPMI or not, he has copped to giving Rudy Giuliani, members of Congress, and through them, the whole world, the gateway to Hunter Biden’s digital life. There’s no defense of that, and yet virtually the entire DC press corps likes to pretend they’re doing ethical journalism if they whitewash it.

There’s not much, yet, to add to the discussion above of how David Weiss used the laptop. As noted above, the FBI never did real due diligence on this laptop.

There’s a lot yet to learn — including whether there was a connection between FBI getting a warrant on the laptop and then DOJ Chief of Staff Will Levi’s text to Bill Barr the next day, “laptop on way to you.”

We do know that the (known) December 2019 warrant only permitted the search of the laptop for the three tax crimes charged against Hunter Biden in Los Angeles (which seems inconsistent with the subpoena that described money laundering). The FBI did not have authority to search the laptop or data from Hunter’s iCloud for gun related evidence until December (though Agent Jensen’s summary of the evidence submitted at trial cited earlier warrants for reasons that have not been aired at trial).

The [hard drive containing the contents of the] laptop is not the same thing as the laptop entered into evidence this week.

That’s something about a bazillion trolls who responded to something I said in 2023, about the disseminated laptop: that it had been tampered with.

It has.

There are known (albeit minor) alterations on the content of the hard drive that Rudy Giuliani shared with the NYPost and, after that, the entire world. There are reportedly more significant compromises, which we might learn about if Rudy’s bankruptcy doesn’t entirely kill Hunter Biden’s lawsuit of Rudy. There was far more significant alteration done on two other sets of data: one, disseminated by Guo Wengui (including some of the files taken down by Twitter in October 2020), and another, released by Jack Maxey.

And there were different public and non-public means of using the hard drives passed on from JPMI to access further Hunter Biden data. Garrett Ziegler, for example, fully admits he compromised the encryption of the iPhone backed up to iTunes on the laptop (though in his response to Hunter Biden’s lawsuit, claims it was legal because the drive he hacked had never belonged to Hunter). Vish Burra is more outspoken about having hacked Hunter Biden.

Many many many of the people who froth over content from the laptop — and journalists who whitewash the hit job against Hunter — don’t know there are multiple versions of altered laptops that relied on multiple means to access (or create) the data.

Many — including many journalists — have just decided Hunter must a horrible person so they are not obligated to care what really happened here.

Hunter Biden’s laptop is not any one thing. It’s not real or authentic or not. It is, rather, the shoddy state of affairs when an entire country enthusiastically exploits the fact that an addict’s digital life was in a permanent state of half-compromise for most if not all of the time of his addiction.

Update: Corrected spelling of Kestan’s last name.

Update: Fixed the super confusing reference about why the FBI didn’t respond differently to the compromise of Biden’s son.

75 replies
  1. soundgood2 says:

    I’m looking forward to Abbe Lowell’s defense case. From what I have read about so far, I think the Prosecution’s over the top case which seems to be pile on evidence that Hunter Biden was a drug addict who cavorted with strippers and drug dealers way beyond what would be necessary to simply prove that he felt that he was addicted and using when he bought the gun. I think there is at least one juror who will be turned off by this over kill attempt to punish a man who has been clean and sober and responsible for many years now. Then if you add in any prosecutorial shenanigans that Lowell can get on the record…

    • grizebard says:

      Well, if there is any remedy for extreme dickishness of prosecutors as here and their judge-tolerated abuse of procedure, it’s a well-grounded jury who can “smell a rat”. To the suppressed fury of aforesaid judges and even sometimes (it has to be admitted) in defiance of the law, not least in cases where it is an ass. A useful eleventh-hour corrective, at its glorious best.

      Whether that happens in this case or not, we shall just have to wait and see. It certainly ought. But don’t bet on it.

      • EatenByGrues says:

        Usually, the remedy is a judge who doesn’t tolerate those shenanigans, and barring that, an appeals court that will rip a trial judge a new one when overturning a conviction.

        I expect the latter to happen, should a guilty verdict be returned; the defense is being sandbagged far more than one normally sees. But since the appeal will happen AFTER the election….

    • Dweddy_CHANGE-REQD says:

      I’m worried about Lowell’s defense after reading the transcript of the questioning of Jensen. The question about what due diligence she performed was so poorly posed the first time as to be none-sensical, which would have been fine if the clarification of the question was barely any better. Jensen’s response to this question is the important bit of her testimony and the defense posed a ridiculously worded question that would be misunderstood by anyone. Maybe I’m being nitpicky but I thought big time lawyers made a point of asking witnesses the most relevant questions in clear concise language so that their response can be understood by the jury.

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the SAME USERNAME and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You commented last as “David Eddy,” which also complies with the site’s 8-letter minimum username standard. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  2. algebraist says:

    As an IT professional specialising in the Apple ecosystem, if I was in that jury i’d be voting to acquit right now. The chain of handling provides so much wiggle room for the data having been tampered with that it stretches all credibility at this point.

    The fact that these devices went from person to person, including known political entities before ending up with the FBI … THEN the FBI doesn’t examine them properly or give relevant information to the Agent on the stand, plus anything the blind repair guy did makes these highly suspect at best.

    Someone else here can chime in on the relevant evidence handling rules.

    • Scott Maggelet says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the way they are “authenticating” the laptop could be gamed simply by buying a laptop and registering it with Hunter’s icloud email & password, right?

      Shouldn’t Apple have some sort of record of the original purchase of an item, given its serial number?

      • algebraist says:

        That assumes the hostile person in question knows both the user email and password, or knows a way to get the password. There’s also the question of the multi factor authentication too.

        But since Hunter had lost multiple phones, given out private details to almost anyone access by almost anyone is frighteningly plausible.

        Once bad people have access to your devices, the security game is all but lost.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Oh, just a guess, mind, but there might be several dozen governments and as many tabloids interested and willing to get dirt on a senior American politician’s son, who’s in trouble with drugs and alcohol, especially, a politician with a good chance of being the next American president. The recruits and resources would not have been lacking.

      • Adam Chew says:

        Every Apple product an Apple product user uses is linked to his Apple ID that why buyer of second hand Apple product can’t use it if the user didn’t deauthorised it from his account.

        I am not sure whether Apple will release that information.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      Precisely why there’s no way the prosecutors would allow an IT professional specialising in the Apple ecosystem on this jury!

      • algebraist says:

        Undoubtedly, no tech experts allowed. Other than the ones they pay for as “expert witnesses”.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, what? Where do you think “experts” come from? They just drop magically from trees? One side or the other pays for their testimony (yes the government pays theirs too). Otherwise they are generally lay fact witnesses.

        • algebraist says:

          To @bmaz – well they certainly don’t come from your school of charm, that’s for sure.

          But since the topic was jury selection and exclusion, why don’t you weigh in on something you might actually know about?

        • Harry Eagar says:

          My brother, who testified as an expert many times, used to say): I am not paid for my testimony; I am paid for my time.

    • zscoreUSA says:

      As an IT specializing in the Apple ecosystem, do you know anything about “heartbeats”?

      Dimitrelos reports that the Mac Isaac laptop was functioning up until 3/17/19, and that it had a “last heartbeat” IP address. Roberts iPad is listed with the same IP address.

      Triangulating texts and emails, that IP address is to Ablow’s Cottage, which Hunter left 2/3/19, and theoretically took the Mac Isaac laptop with him.

      So would it be normal that a “last heartbeat” IP address is from a location 6 weeks prior and has been synced to iCloud?

  3. rvhishere says:

    Gordon Cleveland may be full of it when he say he saw Hunter park his Cadillac third stall over. The only thing you can see from the showroom is the street, unless it’s on security footage.

    • rvhishere says:

      Here’s the quote of Cleveland’s testimony: “100% sure he drove up,” Cleveland said. “I noticed the car as soon as it pulled into the third parking spot.”

  4. Upisdown says:

    “…disseminated by Guo Wengui”

    Wow. I’d almost forgotten about that guy. I guess it is fitting that his name pops up on the same day Bannon’s prison date is announced.

    • zscoreUSA says:

      They also put out the narrative of 3 hard disks obtained by the Chinese government with dirt on Hunter.

  5. PieIsDamnGood says:

    “And yet, that didn’t lead the FBI to validate the laptop associated with the iCloud account of the (then) former Vice President beyond confirming that some but not all of the data matched what was in Hunter’s iCloud.”

    Hunter and Biden’s iCloud accounts are/were linked in some way? Or am I misreading this portion?

    • Just Some Guy says:

      Oops, missed this comment before I commented below. That confused me too, seems like an error.

      • algebraist says:

        That’s incredibly confused, you can’t link iCloud accounts in that way. They are their own entities.

  6. rvhishere says:

    Also Hallie may have given the defense a treat when she stated Hunter told her to report the lost gun to the FBI. Not a guilty conscience thing to do.

    And one more thing, I haven”t been watching too close, is it routine for the secret service to poke around? It seems a bit distant from their mission.

    • NYsportsfanSufferer says:

      Right? I don’t get how Hunter telling Hallie what she did was wrong and to call the police and file a report helps prosecution. It also shows the jury Hunter was of sound mind in that immediate moment.

      I also don’t get how it helps that the man who found it was rummaging around trash cans for recyclables and there’s some cocaine on the pouch. It’s in a trash can for how long and he’s sifting through multiple trash cans. It couldn’t have been that much cocaine either as it wasn’t present to the naked eye.

      • Shadowalker says:

        Hailie put everything in the pouch. She also had to admit on stand also to be using coke at the time. Plus, he was worried someone else’s child would find the weapon and harm themselves, and that was why he wanted it reported.

        • NYsportsfanSufferer says:

          Wait what? She was using at the time? What is the context to that? Did Lowell get her to say that?

        • Shadowalker says:

          Prosecution. She also stated Hunter got her to try it. Think they gave her a profer when she was before the grand jury a couple years ago, which makes sense since that would have be within SOL. Though I doubt they could bring charges, or else they would have done so with Hunter.

        • rvhishere says:

          Here’ a quote from a news source, so yes, Hallie is caught up in the mess: Ms Biden, 50, also told the court she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to have started smoking crack cocaine herself after Mr Biden, 54, introduced her to the drug.

        • NYsportsfanSufferer says:

          Oh I see. She used in 2018. Not necessarily October.

          It’s hard to get a grip on this case from afar. Reporting has been so limited. With those limitations it seems like circumstantial evidence but we’re not in the room. We can’t see the jury. Are they bored? Are they intrigued? There was some reports yesterday they were bored with his ex-wife and the FBI agent. They seemed to enjoy the ex-girlfriend however she was irrelevant to the October timeline.

          Also Lowell said they are a game time decision on bringing their expert chemist for the drugs so they are waiting to see how that testimony goes and he was undecided on if Hunter would testify. If we’re going to read tea leaves, I found it interesting they might not use the chemist. Maybe Lowell feels he can poke holes in their witnesses and not need his witness to rock the boat if he feels steady. I think they feel they have a chance.

        • Shadowalker says:

          Well they still have to put on the stand an eyewitness of Hunter’s drug use at the time.

          Juries can be funny sometimes, hard to say. If I was on the jury, I would wonder why they didn’t add drug charges, after all, they have all this overwhelming proof.

        • originalK says:

          CNN’s live updates say that, based on questioning from the prosecutor, she was introduced to crack by HB in 2018, saw him using it in LA in June 2018, and stopped using it herself in August 2018.

          NBC’s reporting includes that defense introduced on cross that the two of them were scheduled to go to rehab together in PA in October – that that is why HB returned to Wilmington from LA on October 6.

          I wouldn’t feel the need to know these details if it weren’t for those DOJ mofos!

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Those concerns about how Hallie tried to throw out a weapon – one that HB apparently didn’t use or even take out of the box – make HB sound reasonably aware and in control, and not in thrall to drugs.

          It also makes it hard to see how, if HB never took the gun out of the box, trace elements of anything found on it or in the bag with it came from HB. It seems just as likely that they were on it when the gun shop put it in the box, or got there when Hallie handled it.

        • rvhishere says:

          I don’t know that he didn’t take the gun out of its original packaging. I thought he put it in a lockbox but I don’t recall where I came upon that idea. Perhaps too many disparate descriptions and now I’m just adding to the problem. He may have kept the gun in the centre console of his truck when Hallie came across it. Officer Greer suggested that two bullets were unaccounted for.

          Hallie is seen in video evidence placing a purple gift bag (containing the pouch/gun) in a garbage bin along the Buck St. side of the supermarket. The decorative open slats of the bin would display the package as if the Easter Bunny sponsored it. Any idea that she tossed it in a dumpster (implying the back of the premises) is wrong.

          The police officer stated that he recovered the gun wrapped in a sock. The elderly gentleman that had the gun responded, “I don’t know nothin’ about no sock.”

          How many nits does it take to undo a prosecution?

  7. Clare Kelly says:

    Your research and analysis should already be required reading for all conscientious journalists assigned to/covering this trial.

    This piece could be their Cliff Notes version, even if they only read the final paragraph.

    Marcy Wheeler wrote:
    “Hunter Biden’s laptop is not any one thing. It’s not real or authentic or not. It is, rather, the shoddy state of affairs when an entire country enthusiastically exploits the fact that an addict’s digital life was in a permanent state of half-compromise for most if not all of the time of his addiction.”

    Thanks again.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Persuading the country and its journalists that HB is a terrible person, who deserves scorn and conviction because of that, would seem to be Hines and Weiss’s main strategy.

    • ToldainDarkwater says:

      Well, my observation of the recently concluded trial of Trump for falsifying records gave me the strong impression that what the defense was doing with its case, at Trump’s direction, was far more about what it looked like through a political lens than it was about getting a verdict of “not guilty”.

      I’m getting a bit of that vibe in the HB case. They want to embarrass Hunter and his father. They want counter programming to distract from Trump’s legal issues. That’s what it looks like to me.

    • timbozone says:

      If anyone tries to point this out to damage Joe Biden, it’s best to just fall back on the argument that Hunter Biden isn’t running for President and isn’t a guilty ‘verdicted’ felon…like Donald Trump is in fact now.

      • ButteredToast says:

        Exactly. I’m not convinced that anyone other than dyed-in-the-wool MAGA cultists and terminally online conspiracy theorists cares about Hunter Biden. If Trump’s conviction and indictments don’t hurt him among (inexplicably) undecided and low-info voters, it will not be due to Hunter’s alleged offenses. It will be due to these voters’ lack of knowledge, civic illiteracy, and irrational decision-making, thanks in large part to a media that insists on treating Trump and today’s Republican party as normal and responsible participants in a democratic system. Just my evaluation, of course, based in part on reading the never-ending interviews of these voters.

  9. Thomas Paine says:

    The evidence on the laptop AND the iCloud account(s) should have been thrown out by the Judge before the trial even started. The provenance of the data is highly suspect and in no way linked exclusively to Hunter Biden. He is truly the subject of a witch hunt – by morons. Biden is guilty of exceedingly poor judgement, but, once again the GOP has shown that they are the ones truly on the left side of the Stanford-Binet IQ distribution curve. I hope Hunter Biden is acquitted but even if he is not, there is no way a conviction in this case will stand up on appeal.

    • dopefish says:

      I hope you are right about the appeal… I hope Lowell is doing everything necessary to preserve all of these issues for appeal.

      It would be even better if the jury didn’t convict him, but despite this optimistic take in The Daily Beast yesterday, it seems likely he will be convicted. But I suppose a jury can always do the unexpected.

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        This case is a lot more like what Trump tried to claim HIS case was. A political hit job where the prosecution is clearly more interested in the court of public opinion than in the actual court; all they want is to get all the sorted details into the record and then get a “GUILTY” at the end.

      • Shadowalker says:

        A good analogy would be you lose your house keys. Someone finds them and breaks into your house and makes copies of a lot of your stuff. They then put those copies (including stuff they create) into a box. Put your name on the box and turns it into the FBI claiming they found evidence of your crimes. The FBI says, GREAT! And doesn’t bother to even check to see if your fingerprints are even on the box or the stuff inside. All they do is see if there are copies of financial information they can compare with. The real kicker is, the criminal tries to make money off the whole thing by making more copies to be passed around in public.

        • P J Evans says:

          I lost a set of car keys once, about 2001. Put a notice on the board by the apt mailboxes, with a drawing of the keychain tag – it was unique. Never got it back, but someone did get into my car. Took a multi-light (flashlight/spotlight combo) and the notebook with my gasoline purchase records. I got the latter back. Got keys replaced, too. It was a nuisance. (I'[m pretty sure who picked up the keys, but couldn’t prove it.)

  10. Just Some Guy says:

    “And yet, that didn’t lead the FBI to validate the laptop associated with the iCloud account of the (then) former Vice President beyond confirming that some but not all of the data matched what was in Hunter’s iCloud.”

    That sentence is hella confusing, unless somehow Hunter became Vice President and we all missed it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If you must point out obvious typos, keep it simple. How about a short note or supply the obvious missing bits. Here it could be adding “[‘s son]” after “Vice President.”

  11. originalK says:

    Both CNN and NBC reported today that the judge has expressed having trouble tracking the digital evidence. A dozen devices and digital sources would likely not be overwhelming to someone with the right expertise and tools, in part because the tools would be digital, too. (As compared to, say, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago boxes in his bathroom, bedroom and basement vs. in the hands of NARA.) But also in part to that one person can only generate so much data on their own (of which EW has been exploring the limits of lately).

    We’ve had indications since fall that the prosecution’s mess is purposeful. Hiding things, overwhelming people. And it is my understanding that one of the judge’s roles is to hold them to some standards.

    (I think EW just x-eeted about this, so looking forward to her reporting overnight!)

    • P J Evans says:

      The prosecution should absolutely have Bates-stamped the paper stuff, and catalogued the rest, but they haven’t. It’s on them.

    • emptywheel says:

      The issue is that USG didn’t put Bates stamps or an index on this and when Hunter belatedly tried to ID its defense exhibits, USG didn’t like how they showed file path.

  12. bgThenNow says:

    I’m just going to say again that almost everyone by now knows someone who suffers from (or maybe died from) addiction. It could be a family member, a SO, a neighbor, the relative of someone they work with, etc. EVERYONE has a story separated by degrees, of this disease. Not everyone can recover. Many addicts can never get over it. We love the success stories, for the others we Never Give Up. We hope. Always. The persecution of HB is really a sick and twisted thing. Voters dispatched a former USA, who ran for DA, who ran sting operations in an area of our city using recovering addicts, low level unhoused people with carceral histories, luring them into drug dealing and then busting and charging them. Whether they have twisted reasons for their actions or not, I think these prosecutors are evil. Recovering addicts are always at risk of relapse. All of the friends and family who are showing up for HB in court love and care for him. Those of us who have been in this trench with a loved one can see that. The witnesses, the women, cared and probably still care for him. Joe has to be Tough Love. That too is a hard role. I hope HB can maintain his grip through this. I hope there is at least one juror who sees the big picture and refuses to go along with this. It is terrible and nasty. Addiction is punishment enough.

    • dopefish says:

      I saw a media story about Faux News blowhard Jeanine Pirro saying Jill Biden’s presence at the trial on day one during jury selection was “an act of intimidation” that was “trying to send a message” to the jury.

      According to these loons, a mother supporting her recovering-addict son by attending his trial, like thousands of other mothers do all the time… is really about jury tampering.

      • Just Some Guy says:

        Hunter Biden is Dr. Biden’s stepson, which in a way makes her support no less admirable.

        • dopefish says:

          Yes, Hunter’s biological mother died in a car crash when he was three years old, and Jill Biden married his father when he was seven years old and raised him.

          Whether she believed her own line or not, Pirro’s smear of Jill Biden just struck me as disgusting. There’s nothing nefarious about the loving [step-]mother of a criminal defendant showing up in court to support her son, that was perhaps the most ordinary thing to happen so far in this trial.

  13. zscoreUSA says:


    Something that I keep thinking about is Mac Isaac’s claim that when he contacted Senator Johnson/Grassley, they reached out to him and immediately handed the phone to 2 NSA agents, and they only cared about if he has foreign connections.

    Recently, one of the House Committees released supplemental documents from the the self professed IRS whistleblowers that they were blocked by the CIA from interviewing Kevin Morris as a witness.

    Their credibility aside, these would be strange things for them to make up as it makes it look like Hunter Biden and his laptop are a bigger international political football than it appears.

      • wa_rickf says:

        Agreed, and I know that Fox spins things. Usually I know exactly how they spin things because I have a solid understanding of the issue.

        Here I am lost.

        If what Fox is stating is untrue, that’s a HUGE problem because they’re putting things out there that is undermining our intelligence agencies, and of course, ol’ Joe.

  14. Bugboy321 says:

    “…don’t know there are multiple versions of altered laptops that relied on multiple means to access (or create) the data.”
    Pardon me if this has already been discussed, but is this really a case of they “don’t know”? Because there is too much incentive amongst these clowns to “don’t know” something. I think they *DO* know, they just don’t want anyone else to figure it out. Hence the wave of trolls when EW pointed out the laptop was altered.

  15. zscoreUSA says:

    Some relevant notes about the timeline of being in Delaware vs LA:

    * In Beautiful Things, Hunter says he flew back to LA in March, but provided no evidence (unless I missed it)

    * He also wrote that that right before returning to California, Hallie dropped him off at rehab and tied that in with the end of his relationship with Hallie

    * In the Govt exhibit with ATM and other transactions on the East Coast including in Delaware around the time of the date the laptop was dropped off with Mac Isaac, end of April there are transactions with Southwest, then a plethora of Uber transactions, which would be consistent with flying back to LA and being in a location where he didn’t have his own car

    * May 1 press reports of breaking up with Hallie

    * May is when he meets Melissa then gets clean

    Unless Hunter offers evidence he returned in California in March, the evidence shows he returned in late April. Or maybe he has supplied evidence that I am not seeing.

    • zscoreUSA says:

      And notes about the laptop:
      * If my theory about the stolen iPad is correct, then there is not a current explanation for what happened to the 12 inch laptop Dimitrelos lists as Roberts MacBook [no apostrophe and not Pro]

      * On 1/28/29, while at Ablow’s, there are images containing a MacBook Pro, which is consistent with the Mac Isaac laptop Dimitrelos lists as Robert’s MacBook Pro [also listed without an apostrophe lower on the table so Dimitrelos is not anal about accuracy of apostrophe’s]

      * The laptop that is deleted in Mid February. The previous time a device was deleted was immediately after the theft from August. So raises the question if the Mac Isaac laptop was stolen from Hunter mid-February

      * In his book, Hunter says he has a laptop in May with Melissa. Unclear if it’s a new device, or maybe the 12 inch, or maybe he even means an iPad

      * Hunter does testify in the Mac Isaac deposition that the signature on the invoice is not his signature and it’s a bunch of “squiggles”

      • originalK says:

        zscoreUSA – Are you able to confirm that rhbdc at icloud dot com is the address used by Ablow and associates during the treatment month as well as to send The M-A-C Shop invoice? Also, have you ever looked at e-mails between HB and Tucker Carlson? (I’ve seen reference to one that also uses that email address.)

        • zscoreUSA says:

          The iCloud email is the one from the Mac Isaac invoice.

          For Ablow, I believe so, I noted it for at least 2 emails using iCloud but didn’t go out of my to note each email.

          I’ve seen the Tucker email, and I have no reason to think it will be helpful to understanding information about the laptop. But if you have reason to connect it to something else, then I’m all ears.

        • originalK says:

          I’m the commenter that asked you if you knew who referred HB to Ablow. I could have looked in EW archives to see your breakdown of the Tucker-Ablow interview (where you note it as an known unknown. That is, Ablow knows but he’s not sharing.) Anyway,

          In August 2015, HB used that account to ask Tucker to call him.

          As I’ve said before, I resist getting too knowledgeable about this personal data – and doubly so because I’m too lazy to track it with brain rather than computing power.

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