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The Brief: Latest “Twitter Files” Show How FBI Influenced Social Media To Censor Biden Laptop Story

Gregg is joined by journalist Michael Shellenberger, one of four reporters who reviewed and published the Twitter Files


There is little doubt that the FBI is lawless and corrupt.

The bureau secretly spied on Americans and directed social media companies to censor political views and stories it didn’t like.  Smoking gun documents supplied by the so-called Twitter Files confirm it.

The damning evidence is contained in more than 150 FBI emails exchanged with the platform’s Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth, a progressive proxy for the government who gladly capitulated.  Some of it was done to unduly influence the 2020 presidential election in favor of Joe Biden.

Citizens should be outraged at how our nation’s premiere law enforcement agency abused its powers for purely partisan reasons.  It worked to suppress conservative dissent, pushed hard for censorship, and furnished lists of accounts to be suspended or banned.  The FBI’s malfeasance constitutes an egregious violation of the First Amendment.  In simple terms, the agency conspired with Twitter to crush free speech.

As many as 80 FBI agents were assigned to the surveillance and censorship project.  The task force monitored both stories and derogatory tweets.  You’ll find this information in the sixth installment of the Twitter Files, courtesy of Substack writer Matt Taibbi.   “Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary,” he wrote.

The seventh installment provided by independent journalist Michael Shellenberger shows how the FBI and intelligence community “aimed to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published.”  They “primed Yoel Roth to dismiss reports of the laptop as a Russian ‘hack and leak’ operation,” he wrote.  Of course, that was a lie.  The laptop was real, and its contents incriminated Joe Biden as complicit in his son’s multi-million dollar influence peddling schemes.

The FBI knew the laptop was the genuine article because it seized it in December of 2019.  Top officials examined the device, discovered evidence of a cavalcade of crimes, and then buried it in the bowels of the Hoover Building where no one could gain access.  Documents show that Twitter officials also realized that the Russians had nothing to do with the laptop, but they willingly went along with the FBI’s pretense.  Together they publicly discredited it with the help of 51 former intelligence officials who falsely branded the laptop as “Russian disinformation.”   It was a consummate dirty trick.

The FBI-Twitter collaboration (oh, what the hell…let’s call it collusion) was not coincidental.  Half a dozen former FBI officials joined (i.e., infiltrated) the social media company, including Jim Baker who was one of James Comey’s cronies that helped fuel the Russia hoax.  Twitter and the FBI became “one big happy family,” Taibbi concluded.  None of their devious actions were taken pursuant to a criminal investigation or based on any probable cause of wrongdoing.

The FBI did it because they could.

Other Twitter Files corroborate how the FBI pressured Twitter to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story in advance of the election.  Blacklists were composed to target vocal conservatives and critics of Joe Biden.  Disfavored tweets were prevented from trending, and account-holders were banished based on phony grounds.  Shadow-banning was deployed as a powerful political weapon.  Evidence proves that Twitter executives “deplatformed” then-President Donald Trump despite their private admission that no legitimate basis existed for doing so.

As long suspected, the FBI played an integral role in much of this.  In early December, new Twitter owner Elon Musk ordered the release of the social media’s internal communications in an effort to rebuild the public’s trust through transparency.  But unbeknownst to his new boss, Baker tried to cover up the FBI’s machinations by cleansing the Twitter Files.  Musk caught on and fired him.  Additional unsanitized Files then emerged.

Shellenberger reported, “As of 2020, 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.”   The bureau’s censorship campaign intensified with the goal of killing the laptop story.   Together, the FBI and Twitter set up a “virtual war room,” noted Shellenberger.  As deputy general counsel, Baker was at the helm.  He was instrumental in getting the New York Post’s damaging story “censored and discredited” in advance of the presidential balloting by convincing (manipulating) Twitter into doing it despite the platform’s reservations.  It likely helped Biden get elected.

It should come as no surprise that FBI brass denies any fault.  To hear them tell it, the bureau is as pure as the driven snow.  Consider its recent word salad in response to the Twitter Files:

“The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities.  Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.”

The first sentence is complete bullshit.  Any sentient person knows that.  The second sentence is a demonstrable lie.  Twitter did not act “independently” in any sense of the word.  To the contrary, the Twitter Files prove that the FBI penetrated the social media site and then engineered a powerful censorship machine through manipulation and coercion.  Those who did not adhere strictly to the bureau’s political persuasion found themselves blacklisted.  Dissent was silenced and stories suppressed.

And it worked.  A month after Biden won the presidency, Baker sent a congratulatory email to his FBI cohorts thanking them for protecting Twitter users and voters from “misinformation/disinformation.”  In other words, mission accomplished.

If your outrage antenna is going haywire, get a load of this:  documents show that the FBI paid Twitter more than $3 million dollars in taxpayer money for doing its dirty work.  They called it a “reimbursement” for the time the platform spent in countering a “foreign influence” operation that was, in reality, a FBI domestic influence campaign.

Naturally, the mainstream media is ignoring the scandal exposed by the Twitter Files.  Why?  Two reasons.  First, the Files themselves underscore their own journalistic malpractice in dismissing the laptop as “fake news” or “Russian disinformation.”  It was neither, which the press was forced to belatedly admit.

Second, the media adores censorship when it harms Republicans and helps Democrats.  Reporters and their news organizations do it themselves.   They long ago abandoned their commitment to free speech principles, objectivity, and fairness.  They prefer restricted speech that slants and smears according to their political preference, which is decidedly liberal.