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A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Twitter filed by the Delaware-based computer repairman at the center of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. after the social media platform branded him a “hacker.”
In a short ruling on Monday, the same day the suit was filed, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom of the Southern District of Florida said John Paul Mac Isaac “fail[ed] to allege complete diversity” in his filing, Law&Crime reported.
“According to the Complaint, Defendant made false statements that Plaintiff is a ‘hacker’ in reference to materials obtained by the New York Post and shared on Twitter in an exposé concerning the contents of Hunter Biden’s computer hard drive. For the reasons set forth below, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction,” Bloom wrote.
“For a court to have diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), ‘all plaintiffs must be diverse from all defendants,'” she added.
The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning if Mac Isaac can establish that the court has jurisdiction to hear his case, he can refile.
Mac Isaac contended in his suit that he was forced to close his shop after receiving several threats and negative reviews following the social media platform’s claim that a New York Post report detailing the contents of the laptop relied on “hacked materials.”
The federal lawsuit says that Twitter arbitrarily and improperly chose to “communicate to the world that [Mac Isaac] is a hacker.”
Mac Isaac further claimed that he’s “now widely considered a hacker” due to the platform’s moderation. He also said he is being victimized by personal threats, the Post reported in a separate story.
The computer repairman also alleges that Twitter’s defamation forced him to close his Delaware shop after the platform acted with “malicious intent” by making the claim he hacked the laptop, which led to a wave of negative reviews.
The lawsuit seeks $500 million in damages as well as a public retraction from Twitter.
In mid-October, the Post reported on the contents of the laptop, which could be construed as damaging to both Hunter Biden and his father, Joe Biden. The device was brought in for repairs by a customer believed to be Hunter Biden who then abandoned it. Mac Isaac has previously said that he tried several times to contact the client, but was unsuccessful.
Under terms of the repair agreement and after the allotted time had passed, Mac Isaac assumed ownership of the device and proceeded to download its contents and that of a hard drive dropped off at the same time.
When he did, he saw a number of things that disturbed him, so he decided to turn the devices over to the FBI a year ago this month. Before he did, however, he made a copy of the hard drive and gave it to former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello.
Steve Bannon, a former top adviser to President Donald Trump, informed The Post about the laptop and, presumably its contents, in late September. Giuliani eventually supplied the paper with a copy of the hard drive.
Twitter blocked distribution and sharing of the stories and even locked The Post out of its account for a few weeks following the initial report.
Mac Isaac contends in his lawsuit that he never knew that The Post was going to publish materials discovered on the laptop.
“Plaintiff was unaware that the NY POST had information from the hard drive or that a story was going to be published,” says the suit. “Plaintiff did not want his name released to the public nor did he give authorization to Giuliani, Costello, or the NY POST to release his name.”
Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey was called before a congressional panel in October, just days before the Nov. 3 election, and asked to explain why his platform blocked distribution of the story and why The Post’s account had been frozen. He eventually told lawmakers the lock-out was a mistake.
The Post’s reports provided details about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China and how he appeared to profit off his father’s influence. Emails and other materials discovered on the laptop also suggested that Joe Biden may have benefitted financially from some deals.
In September, GOP Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Charles Grassley (Iowa) unveiled a little-covered report which found “consistent, significant and extensive financial connections” between members of the Biden family and Chinese government-linked entities.
“These connections and the vast amount of money transferred among and between them don’t just raise conflicts of interest concerns, they raise criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns,” the report concluded.
Earlier this month, Hunter Biden announced that he was under federal investigation for possible tax crimes.
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