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FBI paid Twitter $3.5M to do its bidding: Taxpayers' money was used to suppress Hunter Biden laptop story and process agency's requests to silence GOP voices - as fury mounts over secret state censorship of the American people

Published: December 20, 2022 | Print Friendly and PDF
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The FBI handed nearly $3.5 million of taxpayers money to Twitter in order for the social media giant to continue to do its bidding.

In an email from February 2021, an unnamed Twitter employee estimated that the company's Safety, Content & Law Enforcement had 'collected $3,415,323' in less than two years from the FBI for 'law-enforcement related projects.'  

The staffer was emailing then-general counsel Sean Edgett and then-deputy general counsel Jim Baker in the damning message. The subject of the email read: 'Run the business - We made money!' 

It was Baker, a former FBI lawyer, who met with the feds to discuss suppressing and discrediting the Hunter Biden laptop story, a month before the bombshell New York Post article was published, despite the agency knowing legitimacy of the reporting. 

When Baker wanted the story squashed after it was published, Twitter's safety moderator Yoel Roth said that he wasn't sure if the story violated any of the company's policies but added: 'This feels a lot like a somewhat subtle leak operation.' 

An investigation into Twitter's behavior around the 2020 presidential election by the incoming Republican majority in the house has been promised with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling Fox News this week: 'This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.' 

One of the many lurid images that was found on Hunter Biden's forgotten laptop

One of the many lurid images that was found on Hunter Biden's forgotten laptop

The nearly $3.5 million was paid to Twitter in exchange for workers continuing to process FBI requests to silence American citizens. In the staffer's email, it says that the millions will be used on 'law enforcement-related projects,' according to the latest dump of Twitter files from reporter Michael Shellenberger.

Current Twitter CEO Elon Musk said of the emails: 'Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.' 

The leak also showed that the day after holding a secret one-on-one briefing with the Bureau to discuss the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, Baker acknowledged to staff that more information was necessary but was willing to err on the side of censorship. 

Baker said in an email: 'There are some facts that indicated that the materials may have been hacked.'

Baker also said in an email to staff: 'I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked. At this stage, however, it is reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted.'

He continued: 'There are some facts that indicate that the materials my have been hacked, while the are others indicating that the computer was either abandoned and/or the owner consented to allow the repair shop to access it for at least some purposes. We simply need more information.'

In a previous dump, journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted: 'Twitter's contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.' 

In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: 'We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today.'

He went on: 'Every day we learn something more.'

The congressman from California continued: 'Why are they [the FBI] able to do this? Working together, using private businesses to go after individuals right before an election, denying the American public the truth?' 

McCarthy is one of the many Republicans who will be calling for a more thorough investigation of the FBI's relationship with social media when the GOP takes control of the house in 2023. 

McCarthy added: 'This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.'

In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: 'We¿re going to do more than just subpoena them. We¿re going to change the course of where the FBI is today'

In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: 'We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today'

Jim Baker, who before serving as deputy general counsel for Twitter held a similar role for the FBI

Jim Baker, who before serving as deputy general counsel for Twitter held a similar role for the FBI

Shellenberger's dump on Monday showed how the FBI pushed Twitter staffers to receive top-level security clearance in July 2020.

Following the release, Shellenberger retweeted a quote from Ohio GOP congressman Jim Jordan: 'I have concerns about whether the government was running a misinformation operation on We the People.'

The reporter added: 'Anyone who reads the Twitter Files, regardless of their political orientation, should share those concerns.' 

The feds went on to pressure Twitter staffers to ban accounts that they were not fond of and to target alleged 'foreign influence' peddlers. 

They wanted to grant the firm's staffers that access to show what they claimed were threats posed to the November 2020 presidential election by foreign interference. 

Roth conceding that he thought the Hunter Biden laptop story may have been faked in some way

Roth conceding that he thought the Hunter Biden laptop story may have been faked in some way

At one point, FBI agent Elvis Chan acted surprised at being reminded that Twitter's general counsel Jim Baker was the FBI's former general counsel, and held that very clearance.

On September 15 2020, another FBI agent, Laura Dehmlow, requested she be allowed to give Baker a top secret briefing with no other staff present.

Baker's shameless attempts to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story - which has since been proven to be accurate - where also shared by Shellenberger.

Monday's Twitter Files release also showed that so many ex-FBI staffers had joined the social media network, there was now a private Slack channel set up just for them.

This was ostensibly to 'onboard' them at the firm and help show them the ropes - although the latest batch of Twitter files have sparked concerns about what else those former government operatives may have been up to.

The most recent 'Twitter Files' also revealed how an FBI official-turned Twitter lawyer sent a letter thanking the Bureau for its help suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Baker, who before serving as deputy general counsel for Twitter held a similar role for the FBI, worked closely with Bureau when it teamed up with the social media company to fight what it called election interference from foreign nations.

Baker and the FBI worked together to try to push the narrative that the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop had been hacked from another source by Russian agents and placed on the laptop that was later found at a Delaware repair shop, and that the laptop never belonged to Biden at all.

As a result of those efforts Twitter blocked The New York Post's reporting of the story on the social media website. At the end of the process, the latest Twitter files revealed that Baker and his team agreed to sign a letter to the FBI agents who worked on the project, thanking them for their efforts.

The revelations are the latest to come out of the Twitter Files, which Elon Musk has been releasing to demonstrate the social media company's past censorship initiatives.

An image of Hunter Biden that was lifted from his forgotten laptop

An image of Hunter Biden that was lifted from his forgotten laptop

Elon Musk continues to find every avenue he can to slash costs at the social media company, which he acquired for $44billion in October

Elon Musk continues to find every avenue he can to slash costs at the social media company, which he acquired for $44billion in October

Monday's  batch of Twitter Files were reviewed and released by  Shellenberger, who along with journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss have been combing through piles of internal Twitter communications dating to before Musk's takeover.

Shellenberger found that less than two hours after Hunter Biden's attorney found out about the New York Post's story about the laptop, FBI agent Elvis Chan sent a collection of documents to Twitter's then-head of site integrity Yoel Roth.

Despite Twitter continually finding nothing suspicious, the FBI repeatedly reached out to the social media company and requested further information about their information, which Twitter declined to disclose.

But in July 2020 Chan arranged security clearances for Twitter officials so they can be told about election interference it is expecting to see in the Trump-Biden runoff.

Baker became involved at this time because he had previously held top secret security clearance during his work for the FBI - during which he had been involved in one of the Bureau's investigations into Donald Trump.

Chan acted as if he were surprised when he was told Baker was at Twitter and had clearance, saying ''I don't know how I forgot him.'

'An odd claim, given Chan's job is to monitor Twitter, not to mention that they worked together at the FBI,' Shellenberger noted.

Baker was not the only former FBI staffer. According to one internal Twitter email reviewed by Stellenberger there were so many they had their own Slack channel and regularly communicated.

Once Baker was given clearance, Shellenberger wrote that the FBI fed him information intended to influence Roth and other Twitter executives into believing that the laptop story was hacked.

FBI official Laura Dehmlow even arranged for a classified briefing for Baker and nobody else at Twitter.

Hours after The Post published their laptop story the next day, it was almost immediately censored by Twitter and thus undermined in the public eye.

The files showed that as Hunter Biden was earning millions in foreign business dealings, the FBI had advised Twitter to be on the lookout for Russian misinformation about him.

'During all of 2020, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies repeatedly primed Yoel Roth to dismiss reports of Hunter Biden's laptop as a Russian 'hack and leak' operation,' Shellenberger wrote.

Despite those efforts by the FBI, Twitter executives found there had been 'very little' Russian activity that raised any suspicions.

'Indeed, Twitter executives *repeatedly* reported very little Russian activity. E.g., on Sept 24, 2020, Twitter told FBI it had removed 345 'largely inactive' accounts 'linked to previous coordinated Russian hacking attempts.' They 'had little reach & low follower accounts,' he wrote.

Though initially Roth continued to resist the idea that Twitter was experiencing any foreign interference, but October when The Post published the laptop story he conceded that the laptop might have been planted by as a 'subtle leak operation.'

'On Oct 14, shortly after @NYPost publishes its Hunter Biden laptop story, Roth says, 'it isn't clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else,' but adds, 'this feels a lot like a somewhat subtle leak operation.'' Shellenberger wrote.

Baker grabbed onto this statement by Roth, and harped on the idea that the laptop's contents were in some way illegitimate.

'Baker repeatedly insists that the Hunter Biden materials were either faked, hacked, or both, and a violation of Twitter policy,' Shellenberger said.

By 10am that morning Twitter officials - citing 'experts' - had agreed that the laptop's must have been hacked from another source and placed on the laptop.

'The suggestion from experts - which rings true - is there was a hack that happened separately, and they loaded the hacked materials on the laptop that magically appeared at a repair shop in Delaware,' Shellenberger noted Roth wrote in an email.

Later that afternoon, Baker had a phone call with the Office of the General Counsel of the FBI.

Shellenberger suggested it was obvious that the FBI's pressures on Twitter executives led directly to them assuming the position that the laptop story had been faked.

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