New information has emerged in the case of Twitter's censorship and suppression of the New York Post's reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop in the lead up to the 2020 US presidential election.
In a disclosure to the FEC, it was revealed that Twitter had weekly meetings with federal law enforcement, and that it was during one of these meetings that Twitter was told to watch out for a Russian disinformation drop.
Former head of Twitter Trust and Safety Yoel Roth submitted a disclosure to the FEC saying that the company had been warned by the FBI of a forthcoming Russian disinformation dump, and they assumed the New York Post's reporting was it. Federal law enforcement planted the seed in Twitter's collective mind, and Twitter used that intelligence to suppress the Post's report.
"These expectations of hack-and-leak operations were discussed throughout 2020. I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden."
The FBI had been aware of the laptop, having been contacted by the owner of the Delaware repair shop where the younger Biden had left his laptop in 2019. By the time the New York Post was on the verge of making their reporting on the contents of that laptop public, the FBI was aware of the laptop.
The repair shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, said that he contacted the FBI about the laptop, and that they met with him at the end of 2019. At that point, he allegedly told them what happened. The FBI came back with a warrant, and seized the laptop and an external hard drive. Isaac, however, had already made a copy.
In an FEC disclosure signed by Roth, it reads: "Since 2018, I have had regular meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Securtiy, the FBI, and industry peers regarding election security."
"During these weekly meetings," the disclosure signed by Roth reads, "the federal law enforcement agencies communicated that they expected 'hack-and-leak operations' by state actors might occur in the period shortly before the 2020 presidential election, likely in October.
"I was told in these meeting," Roth went on, "that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that the material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be dissemintated over social media platofrms, including Twitter. These expectations of hack-and-leak operations were discussed throughout 2020. I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden."
Roth more recently told an audience "We didn’t know what to believe" in an attempt to explain the Twitter censorship.
An FBI agent who was accused of suppressing the investigation into the laptop after it was seized from the repair shop resigned in August, and was escorted out of the building. He came under fire by Congressional GOP after it was revealed that his social media was full of anti-Trump content in the lead up to the 2020 election, during which time he was supposed to be helping to direct the investigation of Hunter Biden.
Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley said in a July letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland "As you are aware, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Tim Thibault is not the only politically biased FBI agent at the Washington Field Office," adding that "the FBI answers to Congress and the American people."
"Mr. Thibault’s blatant partisanship undermined the work and reputation of the FBI. This type of bias in high-profile investigations casts a shadow over all of the bureau’s work that he was involved in, which ranged from opening an investigation into Trump based on liberal news articles to shutting down investigative activity into Hunter Biden that was based on verified information," Grassley continued.
In 2021, The Washington Free Beacon reported that Roth said that the company's decision to block the reporting was based on rumors from US intelligence officials. He said at the time that the censorship was justified because of that information they received.
A complaint was filed with the FEC over illegal campaign contributions made by Twitter to the Biden campaign in the form of the censorship of this reporting that polls later revealed had an impact on voters' choices for the election. Court documents revealed that the complaint was dismissed.
On Friday, a massive batch of Twitter Files pertaining to the suppression were released. It was revealed by Matt Taibbi that "The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role."
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