Last Updated on December 5, 2022
Twitter was warned in its “weekly” meetings with the FBI that a story containing “Russian disinformation” was set to drop days before the New York Post released its exposé on Hunter Biden’s laptop, according to a sworn declaration by Twitter’s former head of site integrity, Yoel Roth. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously told Joe Rogan that Facebook was contacted by the FBI with a similar warning. This ultimately led to the story being completely throttled on both platforms.
Twitter decided to immediately censor the story upon its October 14, 2020, release date, citing its “hacked materials” policy. Internal Twitter communications revealed by Elon Musk revealed that company brass knew the “hacked materials” excuse was bogus, but they decided to proceed anyway. Musk has described the actions as “election interference.”
“I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter,” said Roth in a December 21, 2020, sworn declaration to the Federal Election Commission.
“I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”
Documents released obtained from an ongoing lawsuit against the Biden Administration revealed that top tech executives — including Facebook and Twitter — would routinely meet with national security officials in order to discuss ways to combat “disinformation.”
In a March meeting of the DHS Cybersecurity Advisory Committee — which includes executives from JP Morgan Chase and Twitter — Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned big tech of “subversive” information that could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow first brought executives up to speed on the scope of the bureau’s counter-foreign influence (FTIF) operation, which was expanded to an 80-person unit within the FBI’s counter-intelligence division in 2016. The program was expanded in order to investigate thoroughly debunked and fabricated collusion between then-candidate Trump and the Russian government.
Dehmlow told tech executives that, “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable; we need to early educate the populace; and that today, critical thinking seems to be a problem currently.”
The FBI agent who set up weekly meetings with social media executives was Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan, whose postgraduate thesis claimed that Russia interfered with the 2016 election to help former President Donald Trump, according to the New York Post.
Chan testified last Tuesday in a lawsuit brought against the Biden Administration by Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, which alleges that the Biden Administration colluded with tech companies and other industry leaders to silence their political opponents.
When questioned by Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer on Tuesday, Chan said the FBI warned Twitter to be on guard for a “hack and leak,” though he claimed that he could not recall whether Hunter Biden was mentioned.
This is a massive inconsistency with the sworn declaration from Yoel Roth, who specifically stated that the warning was about the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The FBI was able to get wind of the story’s release because it was spying on then-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s online cloud, under the pretext of an investigation into alleged foreign agent registration violations. The probe was eventually dropped earlier this year.
The covert surveillance warrant gave the FBI access to emails from Delaware computer repair store owner John Paul Mac Isaac relating to the infamous laptop. The laptop had been left abandoned in the shop since 2019.
The FBI also had access to messages between New York Post reporter Miranda Devine and Giuliani in October discussing when The Post would publish the story.
During a live Q&A session on Twitter Saturday afternoon, Musk said: “If Twitter is doing one team’s bidding before an election, shutting down dissenting voices on a pivotal election, that is the very definition of election interference. … Frankly Twitter was acting like an arm of the Democratic National Committee. It was absurd.”