A lawyer for Hunter Biden has threatened to sue Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese mogul closely linked to Steve Bannon, over Guo’s role in disseminating material reputedly copied from Biden’s laptop. In a letter sent Thursday, high-powered attorney Abbe Lowell demanded that Guo preserve any evidence that might be relevant to such a suit.
Lowell—whom Biden hired in December—sent 14 nearly identical letters on Wednesday to others who allegedly played a role in distributing files from the computer that Biden reportedly left in a Delaware computer shop in 2019. The group includes Bannon, who, as Mother Jones has reported, arranged in October 2020 for Guo and his subordinates to distribute explicit pictures and videos copied from the laptop. Rudy Giuliani—who at the time was a personal lawyer for Donald Trump—and Giuliani’s own lawyer, Robert Costello, also received letters. Another letter went to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, who denies any involvement in spreading material from the laptop.
“You have made various statements and engaged in certain activities by your own admission, or that have been publicly reported in the media, concerning our client, Robert Hunter Biden,” the letters say. “This letter…constitutes notice that a litigation hold should be in effect for the preservation and retention of all records and documents related to Mr. Biden.”
Such letters officially serve as an instruction to preserve potential evidence for a future lawsuit, but they also act as warning—and, in this case, a public threat—of a plan to sue. The missives are part of a newly aggressive campaign by Lowell and other Biden representatives and allies to push back against GOP probes of the Biden family. Lowell last week sent another series of letters asking federal and state agencies to investigate whether some of the same figures, including Bannon and Giuliani, had committed crimes by spreading material from Biden’s personal computer without his permission. Another Biden lawyer also threatened to sue Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for defamation.
Lowell’s effort seems timed to counter the launch of House Republicans’ investigation of Hunter Biden’s apparent efforts to profit off his status, during Barack Obama’s administration, as the vice president’s son. Republicans have also alleged that Joe Biden oversaw or profited from his son’s activities, though little evidence has emerged to support those claims, which President Biden denies. A House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday on Twitter’s initial suppression of New York Post reporting based on material from Hunter’s laptop revealed little new information regarding that episode, which Twitter had already called a mistake. In the wake of that hearing, committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) requested material from Hunter Biden. The request drew a quick “no” from Lowell, who asserted that the panel “lacks legitimate legislative purpose and oversight basis for requesting such records from Mr. Biden, who is a private citizen.”
During the Twitter hearing, committee Republicans highlighted emails from October 24, 2020, published last month by journalist Matt Taibbi with help from Twitter owner Elon Musk, in which Twitter executives discussed requests by Biden’s presidential campaign for specific tweets to be taken down. None of the tweets in the emails Taibbi cited, however, appeared to relate to the Post’s reporting. Instead, those that are currently available via the Internet Archive contained explicit images, including dick pics, that were on Hunter’s hard drive. Twitter appears to have removed that material under a rule barring nonconsensual posting of such content.
As I have previously detailed, the explicit images of Hunter were distributed at Bannon’s behest by Guo and individual members of Guo’s large following in the Chinese diaspora. Guo oversaw minute details of the distribution of the material and also, according to people involved in that effort, directed them to repeat lies about content on the laptop, including the false allegation that it contained images of Hunter Biden raping children.
Lowell’s letter does not say specifically if Hunter Biden might sue Guo for advancing such claims. A Guo attorney did not respond Friday to a requests for comment.
Costello, who currently represents both Bannon and Giuliani, told Mother Jones Tuesday that Hunter Biden had no basis on which to sue him or his clients. He argued that Hunter Biden had surrendered ownership of his laptop, and personal material on it, to the computer shop owner when he failed to pick it up after 90 days.