More disturbing than an alleged sex video and crack smoking that the New York Post first reported? Apparently so, although computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac won’t specify what that might be. Speaking to Fox News late yesterday, the Delaware repair-store owner says it was that disturbing content that caused him to notify the FBI, and was in part why the Department of Justice got a subpoena for the computer and hard drive back in December.
“I wanted it out of my shop,” Isaac says, but that raises another question about this story:
The owner of a Delaware computer repair store where a man he believes was Hunter Biden dropped off a laptop that allegedly contained emails detailing an opportunity for a meeting between former Vice President Joe Biden and a top Burisma executive and other “disturbing” items, told Fox News on Wednesday that he was frightened by what he saw.
The man, John Paul Mac Isaac, said he has a condition that affects his vision and “can’t be 100% sure” it was Hunter Biden who dropped off the computer for repair. The Wilmington shop owner said he contacted the FBI out of concern, but declined to specify what he meant. …
“I just don’t know what to say, or what I’m allowed to say,” Isaac said. “I know that I saw, I saw stuff. And I was concerned. I was concerned that somebody might want to come looking for this stuff eventually and I wanted it out of my shop.”
When I raised some skepticism about this part of the story yesterday as to why the repairman would have thought to call the FBI, a number of people responded to say that computer repair specialists see a lot of weird stuff. Fair enough, and that would also explain why someone might drop off a laptop with incriminating sex and crack-smoking images and video, too. Some people just aren’t too bright, although it’s tough to believe that Hunter would have let a laptop with the very smoking gun on Ukraine that Rudy Giuliani had been seeking for two years out of his sight.
But if the stuff was so disturbing that Isaac didn’t want it in his shop, why did he make a copy of it and keep it for himself for months afterward?
At least we know more about the timeline than we’ve learned from the Post’s reporting. Mac Isaac says that he got the laptop in April 2019, and that he looked through the files two or three months later. Despite his discovery at the smoking-gun e-mails (as well as the “disturbing” stuff he didn’t want in his shop), he waited a couple of more months to tell an “intermediary” about it, who then contacted the FBI. The FBI came out and got a “forensic copy” of the laptop, and returned with a subpoena in December to seize it.
Sometime after that, the FBI stopped returning his phone calls, which angered Isaac. Apparently, however, Isaac used his own copy to try to get some interest from members of Congress in the data. None of them responded, so last month Isaac’s “intermediary” contacted Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello. That’s a convenient way to explain an October surprise, but who are the members of Congress that got contacted on this? And why didn’t they want to bite on this? That might be an interesting tale in itself.
Even Fox News sounds a little mystified about this tale, and notes that Isaac doesn’t really have a good explanation for his motives. He does, however, deny that this whole thing was a set-up:
When asked, Isaac, whose social media posts indicate is a supporter of President Trump, rejected the possibility that the laptop did not belong to Hunter Biden and was an attempt to set him up. …
When asked what he hoped would come of the information once it went public, Isaac was ambivalent about his motives. He acknowledged the current political landscape had played a role in his actions and specifically referenced Trump’s impeachment as a motivating factor.
“I wanted — above all, I wanted safety and security,” Isaac said. “I wanted anonymity. I wanted just to be [able] to wash my hands of it, and like it never happened. And that did not happen.”
It didn’t happen because Isaac kept pushing the information. If he had not kept a copy for himself, if he hadn’t involved his “intermediary,” if he hadn’t tried passing this to members of Congress, then it would have been easy for Isaac to have “wash[ed] my hands of it.”
All of this sounds a little difficult to believe, especially this last part but even the idea that Hunter Biden would just leave three laptops in some rando repair shop that contained this kind of explosive information (with Beau Biden Foundation stickers on them, no less!). His business connections must have included some firms with in-house IT, right? Or connections to politically reliable IT experts who weren’t supporting Donald Trump on social media platforms?
Isaac might or might not be on the level, but thus far he’s not coming across as the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, either. He might not think he got scammed, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t. Until the FBI or the Department of Justice can answer questions about the laptop and authentication of it and the data, keep your Large Grain of Salt Dispenser handy.
Update: Hugh Hewitt succinctly sums up what may well have happened here:
Why be cautious about Hunter Biden emails? B/c a foreign power could salt a mine of data with some stolen genuine materials (photos) and then fabricate entire email chains. I’ve been warning about this for 16 years: https://t.co/ERbG3M9IYt But censorship of materials isn’t answer
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) October 15, 2020
That’s why it pays to be skeptical, especially when sources sound contradictory and the claims are this extraordinary.