The son of the man expected by many to be America’s next President abandoned a laptop containing a treasure trove of top-secret material, including his father’s private emails and mobile phone numbers, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In an astonishing lapse, Hunter Biden chose to protect his MacBook Pro computer – crammed with what an IT expert last night described as a ‘national security nightmare’ and ‘classic blackmail material’ – with a single, simple password: Hunter02.
Remarkably, the 50-year-old businessman and self-confessed drug addict took the machine to a back-street IT store in Delaware in April 2019 to get it repaired – yet never returned to collect it.
Its existence was revealed by the New York Post last month, but the staggering scale and sensitivity of its contents – easily accessible to a hacker with a modicum of skill – is only revealed for the first time today.
The material, none of which was encrypted or protected by anything as basic as two-factor authentication, includes:
- Joe Biden’s personal mobile number and three private email addresses as well as the names of his Secret Service agents;
- Mobile numbers for former President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and almost every member of former President Barack Obama’s cabinet;
- A contact database of 1,500 people including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh;
- Personal documents including Hunter’s passport, driver’s licence, social security card, credit cards and bank statements;
- Details of Hunter’s drug and sex problems, including $21,000 spent on one ‘live cam’ porn website and ‘selfies’ of him engaging in sex acts and smoking crack cocaine;
While Hunter has been accused of using his family name to help with deals with Ukrainian and Chinese firms, there is nothing on the laptop to implicate Joe Biden in any wrongdoing.
One email relating to a failed Chinese deal refers to a payment of ten per cent to ‘the Big Guy’, which some have suggested is the presidential hopeful.
However, Mr Biden has insisted: ‘I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.’
Last night, IT expert Chris Greany said it was ‘staggering’ the laptop had not been encrypted.
New laptop revelations: An IT expert last night described as a ‘national security nightmare’ and ‘classic blackmail material’ the revelation that Hunter Biden protected his laptop – which was filled with with a treasure trove of top-secret material – with a single, simple password: Hunter02. He is pictured with what appears to be drug parephenelia in his mouth.
A contact database of 1,500 people included the numbers of Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, her ex-husband Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh.
Unpaid bill: A message from porn site Jasmin, shows Hunter’s attempt to buy credit was ‘declined due to insufficient funds on the credit card’. He shelled out more than $21,000 to one adult ‘live cam’ porn website.
The full letter from Jasmin.com. Hunter Biden became so addicted to illicit sexual thrills that he once spent $11,400 on a single night of debauchery at a New York strip club
‘It’s a data breach and dangerous to have this type of material floating around,’ said the former police commander, who advised successive British Foreign Secretaries on laptop security.
‘For someone prominent, there is not only a risk of great reputational damage but also a risk of blackmail should the material fall into the wrong hands.’
The revelations come just 48 hours before Americans give their verdict at the end of a rancorous election campaign.
They will send shockwaves through Mr Biden’s campaign team, which is desperate to avoid last-minute scandals that may erode his eight-point lead in the polls.
Donald Trump has accused the mainstream US press and social media giants of ignoring – and even burying – the Hunter laptop affair.
He claims a liberal, pro-Democrat elite is ‘protecting’ his rival.
Hunter’s laptop contains 11 gigabytes of material and covers the period from when Mr Biden served as Vice President under Mr Obama to when Hunter dropped it at the Mac Store in Wilmington.
A small selection of its contents was leaked to the press by Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, sparking unsubstantiated claims that the material may have been fabricated by Russia to derail Mr Biden’s White House bid.
Others have suggested the laptop and its contents are a hoax perpetuated by China to weaken Mr Biden.
Yet neither Hunter nor his father have questioned that the laptop was left at the Delaware store nor the authenticity of material from it that has so far appeared in the media.
Evidence seen by The Mail on Sunday appears to confirm that Hunter left the laptop at the shop and the FBI later picked it up.
Last night, lawyers for Hunter declined to comment.
Representatives for Mr Biden did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
A forensic cyber expert hired to analyse material downloaded from the laptop says it is authentic.
‘I have been doing this for 20 years and there is nothing to suggest the laptop or its contents have been interfered with or altered in any way,’ said the expert, who has worked with US law enforcement agencies.
‘There is no sign of data being added. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the real deal.’
The FBI, which took possession of a copy of the computer hard drive last December, declined to confirm or deny if it was carrying out an investigation.
However, Tony Bobulinski, one of Hunter’s former business partners, claims he was interviewed by FBI agents in Washington on October 23 and during that meeting handed over mobile phone records that match material on the laptop.
Last night, a source familiar with the contents of the MacBook Pro said: ‘The sheer volume of personal and financial information indicates Hunter has been potential blackmail fodder for years.
‘It seems almost inconceivable that Hunter Biden, the son of the man likely to become our next President, was so naive and reckless that he did not have basic encryption or even a two-stage password to protect such highly sensitive material.’
Information stored on the laptop includes names and mobile phone numbers sent to Hunter by staff in Mr Biden’s office at the White House in June 2015, a few days after the funeral of Hunter’s brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer, aged 46.
As well as the Clintons, there are numbers for two of America’s most powerful political leaders – Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
An earlier email from November 2011 lists the names and mobile numbers for Mr Biden’s Secret Service detail while he was Vice President.
A source said: ‘This is all a flagrant breach of security.
‘If a hostile state or individual had managed to hack into Hunter’s computer –and it wouldn’t have been difficult considering the lack of security on it – they would have easily found out who was guarding the Vice President and potentially been able to threaten family members of those Secret Service members.’
After his brother’s death, Hunter – while still married, but separated from his first wife Kathleen – had an affair with Beau’s widow, Hallie.
Emails sent to Hunter Biden displayed the phone numbers of prominent figures within Barack Obama’s administration
Another document showed a list of secret service personnel who would be travelling on a trip
Gift for identity thieves: Hunter Biden’s social security card
The laptop contains scores of text messages between them as well as emails between Hunter and Kathleen as their relationship imploded and a bitter divorce battle began.
In one angry note to Kathleen, Hunter says: ‘Have I ever missed a tuition payment or mortgage payment, a play or a game or anything that ever mattered… Do you know what I’ve done to make that possible.
‘Do you have any idea of the level of degradation?’
Hunter has long been considered the black sheep of the Biden family with his alcohol, drug and sex problems making headlines in America – although his father has loyally stood by him.
After Hunter publicly acknowledged his battle with alcohol and drugs in April 2019 – the same month in which he visited the Mac Store – Mr Biden said: ‘Beau was my soul. Hunter is my heart.’
Even last week, the man strongly tipped to become America’s 46th President described his son as ‘the smartest guy I know’. It is doubtful whether his campaign managers or supporters share that view.
Hunter Biden’s laptop lays bare the world of depravity that makes him a target for blackmail: He spent $21,000 on a porn ‘live cam’ site and $11,400 in a strip club in a single night
By Caroline Graham in Los Angeles for the Mail On Sunday
Hunter Biden became so addicted to illicit sexual thrills that he once spent $11,400 on a single night of debauchery at a New York strip club and shelled out more than $21,000 to one adult ‘live cam’ porn website.
The scale of the descent of Joe Biden’s son into a morass of drugs, drink and sleaze – leaving him open to possible blackmail attempts – is laid bare in hundreds of documents and photographs on his abandoned laptop.
The 50-year-old spent a fortune on escorts and ran up massive hotel bills, often paying for multiple rooms in a single night.
Graphic photographs show him apparently smoking crack cocaine from a pipe and engaging in sex acts with unidentified women.
While Hunter’s demons have been well chronicled – not least during his divorce from first wife Kathleen, who alleged in court documents that his interests included ‘drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations’ – the scale of his recklessness is staggering.
After his father became Vice President in 2009, Hunter asked the Security Service to stop deploying agents to accompany him.
It reluctantly agreed – a decision that gave the politician’s son more freedom to indulge his vices.
A source familiar with the contents of the laptop, including bank statements and credit card receipts, said: ‘Hunter’s spending on porn sites is staggering. At one point his credit card was rejected by a site because it was maxed out.
‘There are multiple hotel room charges for the same night. He spends thousands on escorts.
It’s no secret that Hunter has addiction issues, but the contents of the laptop and the apparent lack of security around either Hunter or his computer must raise doubts.
He was obviously highly vulnerable to a potential blackmail attempt from external forces who might seek to influence his father.’
In an interview last year, Hunter openly described at length his lurch into the seedy world of drugs and sleaze.
‘Everyone has trauma. There’s addiction in every family,’ he told The New Yorker magazine. ‘I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel – it’s a never-ending tunnel.’
That tunnel took in the Hustler Club in New York, where he spent £8,800 in a single night in September 2018, and the Streamray porn website from which he bought a five-figure sum of services in just six months.
The Biden Files contain log-in details and passwords for numerous sex sites and multiple payments to women whose names link back to escort websites.
One message from the Jasmin porn site, shows Hunter’s attempt to buy credit was ‘declined due to insufficient funds on the credit card’.
Emails reveal desperate pleas for Hunter to get help from his family. An email from his first wife, Kathleen, says: ‘You told me if you started drinking again it would kill you. I feel like you are torturing me.’
Begging him to return to rehab, his sister Ashley writes: ‘You are a Biden. Remember that. This isn’t how we work.’
Hunter’s obsession with sexual imagery is clear. As well as selfies taken with unidentified women and a video of him engaged in a sex act, the laptop contained bizarre oil paintings of him naked while sprawled on a bed.
When sober, Hunter appears tormented by the damage that his behaviour is causing.
‘Guilt is an appropriate emotion when we’ve wronged someone (including ourselves),’ he wrote on one document stored in the poorly protected computer.
‘Guilt that isn’t acknowledged becomes shame. And shame becomes either narcissism, and addiction, and pain, and an empty life.’
The source said: ‘When you see the contents, the picture you are left with is of a troubled man who is desperately trying to maintain the family image in public, but who is falling apart behind the scenes.
‘He has the pressure of living up to the Biden name, but, in private, he dives into this dark world. He was a sitting duck for anyone who might seek to blackmail him.’
The laptop contains numerous Hollywood screenplay ‘pitches’ drafted by Hunter Biden.
A source said: ‘He has always dreamed about making a story about his life.’
A Mystery to Myself:
(A really seriously tragic dramatic comedy).
In the span of eight years:
My father is elected Vice President of the United States.
I loose [sic] the entirety of my business.
I find a new way of doing business and replace most my income.
I relapse after 7 years of sobriety.
I go back to rehab.
The secret service follow me.
There are also oil paintings of a naked Hunter sprawled across an unmade bed and images of a tattoo on his back that appears to show long, black scratch marks running from his shoulders to his waist.
The source added: ‘In his mind he’s a Renaissance man. He writes poetry and wants to have a movie made of his life. But, as with most things, these are just pipe dreams. The reality is Hunter is a liability for his father. If Joe wins, one of the first tasks will be figuring out how to keep Hunter out of trouble for the next four years.’
Unkempt and unshaven, the man stumbled into the nondescript computer store at a Delaware shopping mall.
Entering The Mac Shop carrying three water-damaged computers, he approached owner John Paul MacIsaac, who later claimed that he smelled alcohol on the customer’s breath.
Mr MacIsaac was able to fix two of the machines, but the third was beyond repair.
Then the customer gave his name: Hunter Biden.
The seemingly innocuous encounter on April 12, 2019, has now become a global news story reaching the White House via Silicon Valley and inhabited by a colourful cast of characters.
As well as the albino shop owner, there’s Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, a burly wrestler turned US Navy officer, a nerdy tech wizard and the President himself.
Mr MacIsaac, 44, completed a one-page form with Hunter’s name, address and mobile phone details – all of which have been verified – and a bill for $85 due on completion of the work.
He told his customer he would need to copy the contents of the MacBook on to an external hard drive to recover them and the process would take a few days.
The man left – but never returned. Under US law, when 90 days had passed, the uncollected laptop legally became Mr MacIsaac’s property.
He decided to look at the recovered material on the laptop – which is now in the hands of the FBI as part of an investigation in which Mr MacIsaac is a material witness – and says a chill ran down his spine.
The Mail on Sunday today reveals some of that material for the first time – exposing how the son of the man tipped to be America’s next President left himself wide open to blackmail.
Mr MacIsaac fears repercussions. ‘I have everything documented. I have everything saved. But the shop is over.
‘I won’t be able to sustain my business… too many people are angry.’
He eventually alerted the FBI who collected the laptop on December 9, 2019.
An agent left a ‘receipt for property’ and a Grand Jury subpoena ordering Mr MacIsaac to testify about its contents.
At this point, the story becomes murkier.
Mr MacIsaac began emailing various senators about what he had found.
After getting no reply, he contacted Mr Giuliani who put him in touch with his lawyer, Robert Costello.
On October 14, the New York Post ran a front-page story with the headline: BIDEN SECRET EMAILS.
Inside they published a few emails relating to Hunter’s business dealings in the Ukraine and alleged links to his father.
Joe and Hunter Biden have denied any impropriety.
Strangely, the story got little traction in the US media.
Stranger still, Twitter blocked the New York Post’s account while Facebook and Google censored any mention of the article. Under pressure, they relented.
Even when Tony Bobulinski, a former US Navy serviceman and ex-wrestling champion who was Hunter’s business partner, went on Trump-supporting Fox News to confirm he had emails verifying those on the laptop, the story was largely ignored.
Meanwhile, a cyber-security expert hired by a freelance journalist drove to Mr Costello’s home on October 19 to copy the hard drive.
He then spent ‘hundreds of hours’ verifying the information and satisfying himself that the data had not been interfered with.