‘Twitter Files’ Drop Reveals FBI’s Dirty Trick to Keep the Social Media Giant Under Their Thumb

Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger dropped the seventh tranche of the “Twitter Files” on Monday, and it was a doozy. The latest data dump portrays the FBI in the worst light yet. Agents took possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop in late December 2019, following a call from John Paul Mac Isaac, the proprietor of a small computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden had dropped it off eight months before. The laptop was real, and the FBI knew it. Shellenberger’s latest report shows the FBI’s breathtaking campaign to “prime” Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth and others at the company to believe the Hunter Biden laptop story was “a Russian ‘hack and leak’ operation.” Communications with Roth began less than two weeks after the FBI picked up the laptop. In the tweet below, Shellenberger reports that “Roth resisted FBI efforts to get Twitter to share data outside of the normal search warrant process.” In another January 2020 email, a Twitter employee discusses the pressure placed on the company by members of the intelligence community “to share more info & change our API policies.” We learn from the emails that the FBI had created an “outreach committee” to discuss information, such as the Hunter Biden laptop. As a result, the FBI was able to reimburse Twitter for their employees’ time. In early 2021, an associate of then-Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker emailed Baker to tell him that Twitter had earned “$3,415,323 since October 2019!” from the FBI. The FBI paid Twitter $3.4 million in taxpayer dollars to do for the bureau what it could not do for itself: interfere in a presidential election. In direct violation of the First Amendment, the top law enforcement agency in the U.S. coerced a private social media company to censor the news the American people were allowed to hear. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the latest tranche was just how determined the FBI was to kill the Hunter Biden laptop story. They put on a full-court-press. Because the FBI had been surveilling Rudy Giuliani, they knew exactly when The New York Post planned to run their story. On October 13, 2020, the night before the article was published, FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan, whose name looms large throughout the “Twitter Files,” sent 10 documents to Roth and two others whose names are redacted. We aren’t told the contents of those documents, but two minutes later, Roth replies they’d been received and downloaded. Shortly after the news broke the following day, Twitter and other social media companies censored and/or discredited the story. Surprisingly, there were times Roth pushed back. On another occasion, he asked if the FBI had any intelligence tying the laptop to Russian hackers. Roth reported they’d seen “very little Russian activity” on their site. In July 2020, Chan raised the idea of obtaining “temporary Top Secret security clearances for Twitter executives,” so they could share classified information. Then it dawns on him that Jim Baker already has a security clearance from his days at the FBI. He requests a one on one meeting with Baker. It’s unclear if this meeting ever occurred, but Baker did his utmost to convince Roth and other Twitter executives that the laptop was a Russian “hack and leak” operation. [firefly_poll] Another takeaway from Shellenberger’s report were just how many Twitter employees had previously worked for the FBI. In one tweet, he writes: “There were so many former FBI employees — ‘Bu alumni’ — working at Twitter that they had created their own private Slack channel and a crib sheet to onboard new FBI arrivals.” Chan also shared information with Roth about a Russian hacking organization called APT28. When the Biden laptop story broke, Roth told a colleague, “It set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 hack-and-leap campaign alarm bells.” Despite his obvious uncertainty, Roth nevertheless jumped aboard the train. The FBI’s pressure campaign had worked. Roth had been willing to collaborate with an agency of the federal government in their deliberate attempt to influence the results of a U.S. presidential election. Shellenberger joined Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Monday night to share his thoughts on the latest release. He told Carlson, “This looks like a kind of psychological operation that you would see the CIA conducting in foreign countries, not something that  you would see intelligence agents in the United States perpetrating against both news organizations, but also social media platforms, namely Twitter and Facebook.” That’s an accurate conclusion. Christopher Wray — clear your calendar and preserve your documents. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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