President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is suing former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne for defamation for claiming the president’s son tried to arrange a bribe from the Iranian government.
In a civil complaint filed in California’s Central Federal Court district, Mr. Biden’s legal team alleged Mr. Byrne repeatedly shared what he knew to be false claims about the president’s son.
Earlier this year, Mr. Byrne allegedly claimed Mr. Biden had reached out to the Iranian government at some point in the fall of 2021, proposing that he could get his father to release about $8 billion in Iranian assets frozen by the U.S. government in a South Korean bank account. In exchange for this unfreezing of funds, the former Overstock CEO claimed the president’s son wanted the Iranian government to transfer $800 million into a bank account he controlled. Mr. Byrne further claimed the president’s son communicated to the Iranian side that by accepting this arrangement, they could “lubricate other negotiations which have recently started between us.”
Mr. Byrne allegedly made these claims about the president’s son in an interview for the first-ever issue of Capitol Times Magazine, published on June 27, 2023. During that interview, Mr. Byrne claimed he’d interacted with Iranian officials in the past and was traveling in the Middle East when he met with an old Iranian contact. Mr. Byrne told the publication that he became aware of the alleged bribe “in the course of being there, and through a mechanism I am not going to explain here.”
NTD News sought contact with the publication but the website’s contact page did not list any methods of communication. NTD News also reached out to Mr. Byrne for comment but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.
Byrne Linked Alleged Bribe to Hamas Attacks: Lawsuit
The former Overstock.com CEO reshared the claims about the president’s son in an Oct. 8 post on X, just one day after Hamas terrorists breached the Israel–Gaza barrier and killed more than 1,400 Israelis in a surprise attack.
“The clear implication of Byrne’s October 8, 2023 posts was that Plaintiff’s allegedly criminal and corrupt actions had contributed to the terrorist attacks by Hamas, that Plaintiff’s purported crimes had led to the deaths of more than 1,400 innocent civilians, and, more broadly, that Plaintiff was a substantial factor in causing the recent outbreak of violence, war, and tragic death in the Middle East,” the defamation complaint states.
In September, the Biden administration reached a deal to unfreeze $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets held in a South Korean bank in exchange for the release of five Americans held captive by the Iranian regime. Some Republicans have suggested the release of these funds may have emboldened Iran to sponsor the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. U.S. and Israeli officials have yet to identify direct evidence of Iranian support for the attacks in Israel and the Biden administration has insisted the unfrozen Iranian funds were still in the transfer process at the time of the attacks and had not been spent.
Hunter Biden Bringing Multiple Lawsuits
Mr. Byrne is now one of multiple people facing lawsuits brought by President Biden’s son.
In March, the younger Biden sued the owner of a Delaware computer repair shop where he had allegedly abandoned a laptop in 2019. The records on that laptop became a contentious matter in the final weeks before the 2020 election, as the New York Post published a series of articles that raised claims Joe Biden had knowledge of and was involved in his son’s foreign business dealings.
Hunter Biden’s lawsuit argues the Delaware computer repairman, John Paul Mac Isaac, is liable for invasion of privacy. The lawsuit is itself a counterclaim against allegations brought by Mr. Mac Isaac that Mr. Biden had defamed him by insinuating he’d stolen or hacked the laptop as part of a Russian information operation.
In September, Mr. Biden also sued lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Robert Costello for their role in the laptop controversy, alleging they engaged in illegal hacking activities to access the files on the computer.
The contents of the Biden laptop have been a focus for Republican lawmakers, who have raised allegations that President Biden has engaged in influence peddling with his family throughout his political career. The issue is part of an active impeachment inquiry brought by House Republicans and this week Republicans issued subpoenas for testimony from Hunter Biden, as well as the president’s brother, James Biden.
White House spokesman Ian Sams has said the subpoenas for the Biden family members are part of a “wild goose chase of an investigation” that is “not about pursuing the truth but instead is an exercise in trying to damage the President politically.”