Twitter - Hunter Biden

The Twitter Files: FBI Paid Twitter $3.4m, Devised Cover-Up of Hunter Biden Scandal on Eve of Election

22 December 2022

4.8 MINS

In the latest shocking Twitter Files revelation, strong evidence has emerged that the FBI used Twitter to interfere in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election and install the Bureau’s favoured candidate, Joe Biden.

Over a two-year period, the FBI paid Twitter more than US$3.4 million as part of a taxpayer-funded “reimbursement program” to handle FBI requests to ban conservative and “foreign influence” accounts, according to reporter Michael Shellenberger.

Incoming Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who is on a mission to expose historic corruption at the social media company, greeted Shellenberger’s report by tweeting, “Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.”

The FBI’s covert activities at Twitter centred on their suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, first covered by the Daily Declaration in October 2020.

Twitter Runs Cover for the Biden Family

To understand the extent of FBI corruption exposed this week, it is necessary to briefly revisit the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

In early 2019, Joe Biden’s son Hunter abandoned his laptop at a Delaware computer repair shop, and with it, evidence of vast Biden family corruption. Joe Biden himself was implicated in the scandal, apparently monetising the office of Vice President — a post he occupied under Obama — to make tens of millions of dollars for his son through shady energy companies in China and Ukraine, for which Hunter offered no real work.

Sometime after uncovering this evidence of criminal activity, the repair shop owner surrendered the laptop to the FBI. However, when almost a year passed without word from the FBI, the repairman forwarded a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive to New York lawyer Rudy Guiliani, who was under FBI surveillance at the time.

Guiliani then sent a copy of the hard drive to the New York Post, who broke the bombshell story on the eve of the Trump-Biden election, on October 14, 2020.

Covering this scandal in great depth, the Daily Declaration reserved its harshest criticisms for Twitter, after the little blue bird locked the New York Post’s account and censored all discussion of the Biden affair on its platform from the first day the story broke. Facebook soon followed suit.

Twitter justified its naked election meddling by citing an obscure ‘hacked materials’ policy. Later, 51 former intelligence officials lined up in support of Twitter, claiming the story had “the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”.

It is now an established fact that Twitter’s flimsy justification was white noise and that Hunter Biden’s laptop — along with its damning contents — was authentic.

The FBI’s Influence at Twitter

What has only come to light this week is the extent of the FBI’s collusion with Twitter in the affair. It can no longer be denied that the U.S. government helped censor honest reporting on a scandal that, had American voters been aware of it at the time, would have all but cost Joe Biden the White House, according to polling data.

In the words of Matt Taibbi, another independent journalist working with  Shellenberger to expose the scandal, “Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.”

Thanks to intrepid reporting by Taibbi, Shellenberger, and former New York Times editor Bari Weiss, we now know that Twitter employed so many ex-FBI staffers that a private Slack channel was set up especially for FBI alumni at Twitter. What they discussed on that channel is yet to be made public.

The most infamous of the cohort was Jim Baker, one of the most powerful men in the U.S. intelligence community, who served as general counsel for the FBI from 2014 to 2018. Baker moved to an equivalent role at Twitter in mid-2020, at the height of that year’s Presidential election race. He was fired by Elon Musk earlier this month “in light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue,” per Musk.

According to the Twitter Files, Baker was shameless in his collusion with FBI personnel to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story, even though Baker had all the proof he needed that the laptop was genuine. “Baker repeatedly insists that the Hunter Biden materials were either faked, hacked, or both, and a violation of Twitter policy,” wrote Shellenberger.

How the FBI Manipulated Twitter Executives

The worst offender on the FBI side of the equation was Special Agent Elvis Chan.

Throughout 2020, Chan and other FBI officials used weekly meetings to prime Twitter’s then Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth to suspect an upcoming Russian “hack and leak” operation.

Chan conceded that the FBI had no intel to back up such a suspicion. In turn, Twitter staff repeatedly reported very little Russian activity. In September 2020, Twitter told the FBI they had removed 345 largely inactive accounts “linked to previous coordinated Russian hacking attempts” that had “little reach and low follower accounts”.

And when U.S. journalists alleged foreign influence on the platform, Twitter debunked the claims, countering “our review thus far shows a small-scale domestic troll effort”.

By July 2020, Chan had arranged Top Secret security clearances for Twitter executives so the FBI could shape their perceptions about possible election interference during the upcoming Presidential race. In the FBI’s correspondence with Twitter heads, Hunter Biden’s name was specifically brought up.

In September, Chan and another FBI official arranged for a classified briefing for ex-colleague Jim Baker without Roth or any other Twitter staff present.

The scene was now set for Twitter heads to view the Hunter Biden laptop story as a textbook case of Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Biden’s White House Victory Secured

The day before the Hunter Biden laptop story would break, the New York Post called Hunter’s lawyer for comment. In turn, Hunter’s lawyer called the repairman who had recovered Hunter’s laptop.

It is almost certain that the FBI surveilled these communications: two hours later, Special Agent Elvis Chan sent 10 documents to Twitter’s Yoel Roth.

The next day, Twitter moved immediately to ban the New York Post’s report on the Biden family corruption scandal. In the immediate aftermath, Yoel Roth wrote, “It isn’t clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else,” but then added, “this feels a lot like a somewhat subtle leak operation”.

The deed was done — and the truth about the Biden family was now discredited in the public eye, clearing the way for a Biden White House victory.

Throughout the entire saga, the FBI had Hunter Biden’s laptop in their possession.

The Twitter Files also reveal that in the aftermath of the cover-up operation, Jim Baker and his team at Twitter agreed to sign a letter to the FBI agents who worked on the project, thanking them for their efforts.

“What the Twitter Files show is not caution, but a coordinated effort between the Biden campaign and the FBI to cast aspersions and limit the reach of a story damaging to Joe Biden,” the New York Post has since concluded. The outlet added:

Republicans have promised an investigation when they take control of the House, and we welcome more transparency. Our suggestion for first witnesses? Chan and Roth. What was in those 10 files? What did Chan already know about the Hunter Biden laptop? And what did he tell Twitter?

Perhaps then the rest of the press will decide that collusion between the FBI, a political campaign and a social media company is worthy of coverage.


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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