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Ex-Trump aide sued by Hunter Biden wants Biden-appointed judge off laptop case, fears ‘2020 all over again’

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Garrett Ziegler, a one-time aide to former President Trump who is being sued by Hunter Biden for publishing the contents of his infamous laptop, is seeking to have a judge who was appointed by President Biden removed from the case. Ziegler argues that the outcome of the lawsuit not only has implications for the congressional impeachment inquiry, but also the 2024 election. 

In a recent motion in U.S. District Court for Central California, Ziegler’s attorney, Robert Tyler, requested that Judge Hernán D. Vera recuse himself from the case because his ‘impartiality will be reasonably questioned.’ Vera made donations to Joe Biden’s campaign for president in 2020. He also was appointed to his position by President Biden just three months before Hunter Biden filed the lawsuit against Ziegler and one day after then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced a presidential impeachment inquiry had commenced in Congress. 

Tyler emphasized that he is not arguing against Vera’s integrity and assumes the court system assigned the judge to Hunter Biden’s lawsuit at random. 

‘But there’s something called forum shopping that lawyers do,’ he told Fox News Digital. ‘And here’s a case where our client resides in Illinois, he has no contact with California such that California should have any jurisdiction over this case, yet Hunter Biden’s lawyers filed this lawsuit to the Central District of California just shortly after Judge Vera’s appointed.’ 

Fox News Digital reached out to Biden’s legal team for comment on Tuesday.

The relief requested in Hunter Biden’s complaint would prevent and inhibit the public, media and Congress from accessing highly relevant evidence to the impeachment inquiry of President Biden, the motion says. Ziegler’s attorney further argued that Vera must recuse himself from the case ‘because the district court rulings in this case may affect the impeachment inquiry along with the future presidency of Joseph Biden, toward which Judge Vera made a financial investment and for which Judge Vera has an obvious interest and affinity.’ 

‘The availability of the information from the Hunter Biden laptop is incredibly important so that we don’t have 2020 all over again where somehow the Biden laptop is brushed under the rug and ignored or worse yet, it’s censored,’ Tyler told Fox News Digital on Tuesday, referring to how the Hunter Biden laptop story was dismissed as ‘Russian disinformation’ by a large portion of the media and suppressed by social media platforms. ‘That’s important I think not only to the presidential impeachment inquiry but also to the election.’ 

Tyler’s motion criticizes how Hunter Biden filed the lawsuit against Ziegler, his company – Marco Polo USA – and 10 unidentified associates in September 2023, in the middle of his father’s re-election campaign and nearly three years after the dissemination of files emanating from the laptop he ‘abandoned’ at a Delaware computer repair shop. The repair shop owner turned the laptop over to the FBI on or around October 2019 after discovering its ‘disturbing materials,’ the motion notes.

Hunter Biden’s lawsuit accused Ziegler and others of spreading ‘tens of thousands of emails, thousands of photos, and dozens of videos and recordings’ that were considered ‘pornographic’ on the laptop. The lawsuit describes Ziegler as a ‘zealot who has waged a sustained, unhinged and obsessed campaign’ against the entire Biden family for over two years to ‘advance his right-wing agenda’ and spent hours ‘accessing, tampering with, manipulating or copying’ Hunter Biden’s data with his associates.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial based on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California’s Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act. 

Ziegler’s attorney counters that the former Trump aide and associates ‘prepared a credible investigative report,’ known as the ‘Report on the Biden Laptop,’ not to wage a campaign against Hunter Biden, but to ‘expose instances of foreign compromise’ by Hunter Biden and his father, President Biden, which are ‘matters of great public interest and concern.’ In preparing the report, Ziegler relied on copies of files from the laptop that ‘had already been widely circulated since at least October 2020 to numerous media outlets,’ Tyler wrote. 

The motion states that Ziegler’s website with the Biden laptop report has been accessed by over 5 million Americans since its inception in June 2023 and more than 8 million Americans have accessed the free digital version of the report made available in November 2022. 

‘Millions upon millions of visitors have come to this website for information,’ Tyler said. ‘The information on this website is not altered except to the extent to black out genitals. Other than that, the content of the website, according to my client, has not been altered or manipulated, and so this information is critical, I believe, to the availability for the public, for the media and for Congress itself to be able to access and determine whether or not this president is one we should bring back in 2024, 2025.’

Tyler noted how Marco Polo provided background research to the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees related to the Biden impeachment inquiry. 

During a recent House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing related to Hunter Biden’s refusal to attend a congressional deposition pertaining to his father’s impeachment inquiry, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., presented exhibits of evidence she received directly from Ziegler and other defendants, the motion says. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., then requested that the Democrats on the committee be provided the Biden laptop files. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., interjected that she can provide every Democrat a copy because ‘Marco Polo has the actual, entire publication.’ 

‘You mentioned you wanted to read some stuff, that would probably be something good to read, the Marco Polo Report,’ Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., added. ‘It’s public record.’ 

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