Ex-Congressman suggests Hunter Biden alleged laptop data fabricated

Lawyers for the president’s son have not said any of the data on the purported laptop is authentic

Andrew Feinberg
Tuesday 11 July 2023 12:12 BST
Joe Biden clashes with reporter after question about Hunter

Former Virginia Representative Denver Riggleman on Sunday said he is now working for Hunter Biden’s legal team with the objective of showing the true origins of the salacious data that supporters of former president Donald Trump say is proof of lurid corruption allegations on the part of Mr Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.

Mr Riggleman, a former Air Force officer who worked as a technical adviser to the now-defunct House January 6 select committee after losing his congressional seat in 2020, told CNN on Sunday that he was retained by Mr Biden’s lawyers to prepare a “technical and analytical report compared to phone forensics” regarding the purported laptop which Hunter Biden is alleged to have abandoned at a Delaware repair shop.

He told host Jim Acosta that he took the job because he “hate[s] bullies” and because many of the people promoting various accusations based on the purported laptop data also promoted the false conspiracy theories which led to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

“There are some things I can’t talk about, unlike the grifters. I have to have transparency and verification to stand up in a court of law, but I can tell you this,” Mr Riggleman continued. “What we want to look at first is the data out there purported to be Hunter Biden’s laptop, and we wanted to see if there was any forensic format, and make sure there was no forensic validity to it, and ... there was none,” he said.

“If you’re looking at 4chan or from a site like MarcoPolo, you have to have forensic validity. And I am shocked that anybody in Congress would use that data, or any journalist would use those sources because [of] what we found out.”

Mr Riggleman said he and his team have obtained proof “based on the 1s and 0s that we have found” that the people involved, including ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon, ex-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and others, were “manipulating the data”.

“We have people like Steve Bannon using words like ‘editorial creativity,’ and we have specific instances of fabrication and manipulation of the data,” he added.

The ex-Republican representative said the content being published in right-wing media “has no relation to any forensic copy attached to a Hunter Biden laptop” and “looks ... to us” as if “most of the data is curated” in a way that is “almost like a mixtape of multiple data sources that’s gone through the hands of 30 or 40 people”.

“A lot of the things they say are not validated and ridiculous, and we’ve found cases of fabricating data,” he said.

The alleged laptop, which a legally blind former Delaware computer shop owner claims was left at his store for repair by Mr Biden but never picked up, has played an outsized role in GOP politics since the New York Post published an email purportedly showing that the then-vice president met with an executive at Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden served as a board member.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys have repeatedly denied that the computer store owner’s version of events is accurate and have also repeatedly denied that the data in question is from any single device belonging to their client.

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