In the fall of 2020, when the New York Post published its first article on Hunter Biden’s revealing laptop, it wasn’t just the president’s son facing a now uncertain future. The life of the man who originally repaired that infamous laptop — John Paul Mac Isaac — was forever changed as well. He joins Glenn to describe the life-shattering consequences he faced that all began when Hunter Biden dropped off three liquid-damaged MacBooks on April 12th, 2020: ’To have that idea out there, that I colluded with [Russia] to affect an election…I mean, that's treasonous. And to have a traitor attached to my name, it was devastating for me.’
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: One of the guys I've wanted to talk to for months. Is a guy who was born into a military family. Air Force. And he's a -- he's a -- really, I think, a decent American, that was caught in kind of a Hitchcockian sort of film. Because somebody walked into his computer repair store. And said, hey. Can you -- can you fix this?
Well, that was Hunter Biden's and his life has been an absolute hell ever since. He's on with us now, John Paul Mac Isaac. How are you, sir?
JOHN: I'm pretty good. Thanks for having me on the show.
GLENN: You bet. So can you tell me. This whole thing started on a Friday night, and Hunter Biden walks into your shop, right?
JOHN: Yeah. It was Friday, April 12th. About ten minutes before we close. And on a Friday night, I was kind of excited to get out of the shop. Unfortunately, that excitement, was shot down, when Hunter walked in, clutching three liquid-damaged MacBook Pros that he wanted to get data recovery from.
GLENN: Did you know who he was, at first?
JOHN: No. I'm visually impaired.
So I -- when people walk in the store, I can't really see who they are. It wasn't until I started collecting his personal information. When I requested his name and phone number, and email. And he was surprised that I didn't recognize him, instantly. I guess he said, he's some sort of local celebrity.
GLENN: Yeah. All right. So take us through what happened. You had the laptops. And you were asked to take all of this information off the hard drive. When you do that, normally, do you see what's on the hard drive, or is it just a transfer?
JOHN: Well, in a perfect world, if it's say, a transfer from a perfectly healthy machine, to whatever the customer wants me to transfer it to, that process is generally automated.
In this case, the one laptop that I was able to recover data from, that I actually checked in, that was a liquid-damaged machine. It had power instability issues. So I started to do a transfer, and the power cut out on it. So I basically had to piecemeal the transfer, the next couple of days. Where I get it to power on, long enough for me to manually drag a folder to drop it to our secure store server.
In that process, because it's not automated and there's no automatic verification process, I had to verify that the data that I was copying, was intact. And it was in that verification process, that I was made aware, that there was some sensitive, embarrassing, potentially criminal material on the laptop.
GLENN: Okay. So you fixed it. And you expected him to come back. And you weren't going to do anything with the laptop, right?
PAT: Well, at that point in time, I completed the repair on April 16th. I gave him a ring, to drop off an external hard drive. So I could transfer the data back.
And he did. He came into the shop. Dropped off a two terabyte Western Digital external hard drive, I believe he got from Best Buy. And I proceeded to copy the data that I recovered to that drive. He also requested that it pay him electronically through the Square credit card processing, which sends out an email, and an automated reminder.
I then proceeded to call him the next day, to let him know it was ready. And then I continued to proceeded to call him, to let him know it was ready, for a couple weeks after that. And never got a response again.
GLENN: So after 90 days, what happens to the laptop?
JOHN: After 90 days, on the paperwork he signed, it clearly states, that after 90 days, any abandoned property becomes property of the Mac shop.
So when it became my property, I wanted to make sure what I had seen was real, because I hadn't looked at the laptop during that entire time. I think it was mid-July, where I finally dove into it.
And that's when I -- mainly because Burisma and Hunter were in the news cycle, during the summer.
I was very concerned, that, A, somebody would come looking for the embarrassing content, when he dropped off the laptop, his dad wasn't running for president.
But two weeks later, his dad was running for president. I fully expected the Secret Service to kick down my door, take the laptop and me away.
GLENN: That's terrifying.
JOHN: I think we've seen recently, that the Secret Service is the Biden's cleaner service. So I had a legitimate fear. And then also, my concern that there was the material on the laptop, that was part of a criminal investigation. That was when --
GLENN: So you gave it to the FBI. At it point, you still trusted the FBI, somewhat.
JOHN: I trust the FBI enough to know that this was the proper channel. This is what I had to do. I didn't -- after witnessing what happened to Roger Stone, that previous January. Having witnessing the weaponization that the department of FBI, and the Mueller investigation. I was definitely concerned. So that's why I enlisted my father, from this 31-year military colonel, to go to the Albuquerque FBI. Because I didn't -- I was trying to keep myself out of it. Like a secret. I had a business. And a place -- I didn't want to lose any of that.
JOHN: So I enlisted my father. He approached the Albuquerque. I believe it was October 8, of 2019. The Albuquerque FBI office. And he was promptly kicked out. He was asked to don't talk about this.
GLENN: Holy cow.
JOHN: He made an effort to try to get them to drive. And they seemed not interested whatsoever, and wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.
So we felt pretty defeated at that point. And it was about a month later, when an FBI agent reached out to my father, in an effort to get a hold of me.
A couple weeks after that, I had the FBI meet me at my house. I expressed my concerns for my safety. And what I was hoping to achieve by going to the FBI. Which was basically, get this thing out of my shop.
JOHN: And give me some level of protection, if somebody comes looking for it. I want a phone number that I can call, and, you know, I have someone that I can reach out to, should something go bad.
GLENN: When -- when this finally broke in the New York Post, you were destroyed. Your business was destroyed. You were -- what was it? Fifty-one different intelligence experts signed a statement, saying that this was Russian disinformation, which made you, you know, in league with the Russians.
GLENN: I know. Because we reached out to you. And you were like, I'm just trying to get out of here. I don't want to do any interviews. I want to get out of here.
How afraid for your life were you?
JOHN: You know, it really started the morning of October 14th.
The New York Post released a story at 6:30 in the morning, and I was getting death threats by about 6:45.
So it didn't take long for people to make the connection. Then it really -- initially, it was -- you know, I'm a hacker. I'm a thief. How could I do this?
JOHN: Then the narrative slowly shifted to Putin thanks you for your service. And you're a stooge for Russia.
And to have that idea out there, that I colluded with a foreign power, to affect an election. I mean, that's -- that's treasonous. And, you know, I come from a very distinguished military family, to have the label traitor attached to my name. Is just -- it's devastating for me.
GLENN: At you ever -- ever think that your country would do this to you?
JOHN: No. I didn't. I really did not expect what I witnessed on October 14th. Within three hours of the Post releasing the story. There was a digital Iron Curtain that descended around the story. And anyone trying to report on it. The New York Post blocked from Twitter for weeks.
To see that level of collaboration, and collusion, I figured out rather quickly. That this had to be something, they were prepared for. They were waiting for this to happen.
And I think Zuckerberg was dragged before Congress. On October 25th.
And he said that the FBI reached out in the late summer, to Facebook, Twitter, and Google, to warn them, of a massive dump of foreign intelligence, that's going to affect the election.
And to be ready for it. And I can only imagine, that that was the because on August 28th, is when I overnighted, a copy of Hunter's drive to Rudy Giuliani's office. And next week, the FBI warned them. It kind of begs the question. Who was on their surveillance. Was I can monitored? Or was the office of the United States being monitored?
GLENN: You recently filed a lawsuit against Adam Schiff, and I just -- I want to say, I love you for that.
CNN, the Daily Beast, Politico, why are you suing these guys?
JOHN: Well, I think Adam Schiff is pretty clear. He had no problems going on, Wolf Blitzer. On the 16th of October. To tell the American people, that this was an operation run out of the Kremlin.
He is supposed to be the chair of the intelligence committee. But he was handed zero intelligence. If anything, the intelligence community, at the time was trying to convey to them, this has nothing to do with Russia.
And he went on the news, anyway, to spread this narrative. And I think that's a major problem. Because look, the narrative that was spread. Is the narrative that seems to be sticking for all of them. Let's blame Russia for the 2016 election. Let's blame Russia for collusion with Trump.
And they tried it again. I'm the last person you could ever possibly call a Russian. My family has a history of fighting during the entirety of the Cold War against communism. So I think they just chose the wrong guy.
GLENN: You sound pretty together. And I'm glad to hear that.
I -- we prayed for you. I think a lot of people in the country, prayed for you.
I'm doing a special tonight, on how this is about Joe Biden. I'm not sure how much of the laptop, you read. Because it's yours. Isn't it?
JOHN: Uh-huh. Well, the FBI has it now. I gave them the receipt.
GLENN: You'll never get it back. You have a copy of it, though, didn't you? I would have. You did. Okay. Good.
JOHN: I made a copy. I made two copies before I went to the FBI. I made a copy to give to my father, so he could go to the FBI with it. I also made a copy to give to a close friend of mine. Should anything happen to me, she had explicit instructions to hand deliver this to the one person that was in Ukraine, during the summer of 2019, looking up the same information that I was in possession of. And that was Rudy Giuliani. This was a decision that I made back in early October of 2019. So time passes, almost a year goes by. It turns out, that would be the same drive, of Rudy Giuliani. I'm in possession of my father's copy, which predates Rudy. So if there's any question out there, of any data that's been erroneously or maliciously added to any copies that are out there. We have a copy that pre-dates Rudy. So we can always compare it. I definitely offer that as options, to anybody who questions the integrity of the data that's out there.
GLENN: The media says that they are -- you know, yeah, we -- we realize now, it wasn't a Russian operative. You know, and a Russian op. However, they're making this about the son, not the father.
This is clearly about the father, don't you think? That was my concern. Concerns I had for national security, weren't about Hunter.
Sure, there was -- this guy was incredibly reckless with this technology. I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians had a copy of his laptop, or the Chinese have the copy of the laptop.
So, yeah. There was that level of Hunter-based national security. But the blue star strategies was on a weekly basis. Sending information, directly from the White House. Not the vice president's office. But the White House.
All the policies toward Ukraine. Anything that had to do with Ukraine, including the vice president's travel schedule, which should be a state secret. Was being sent in the open, not secured, to private Ukrainian citizens that were running a natural gas company that employed the vice president's son.
That was a concern of mine. Because this is stuff that you shouldn't send out in the open. And you shouldn't send to somebody who is financially benefiting your offspring.
GLENN: Yeah. And now that we are involved in war. I question everything that is going on. I can't thank you enough, John. And is there a way for people to help?
I know that there's a GiveSendGo, because you are under tremendous financial pressure. And I think you can just go to GiveSendGo, Build Back Mac Isaac. I-S-A-A-C.
GLENN: Is that the best way for people to help you?
JOHN: You know, my friend Kristen -- I never wanted the profit off of my actions, during this entire process.
GLENN: Of course.
JOHN: Even -- even when it came to mailing a copy of the drive to Rudy Giuliani's office, I didn't take the credit card. Because I did not want -- I've seen how money can pervert noble efforts, and I didn't want to fall into that trap.
GLENN: Yep. Yep.
JOHN: And I still was kind of reluctant to go with any kind of fundraising. Because I made my bed. The American people to foot the bill.
My friends convinced me, informed me that any money that I planned to achieve through my book, will probably take a while to get there. So I will need to do something, or I won't survive this. And I need to survive this, so I can continue to fight.
So my friend set up my GiveSendGo for me, and I'm grateful. Actually, I do want to say, how -- I am completely astounded by the report I've received. Not just monetarily, but prayers. And just general support from all walks of life. And all corners of this country.
GLENN: I'm glad.
JOHN: And I can tell you, that support has given me the strength to get this far. Because it got pretty dark, like a year or so, ago.
If it wasn't for the support for the American people, I wouldn't have the strength to continue this fight. And now I know how big this fight is.
GLENN: John, I have to go. I'm against a network break. I would love to have you on again.
GiveSendGo. Build Back Mac Isaac. Back in a minute.