Twitter counsel Jim Baker thanked FBI for help in plot to suppress Hunter Biden laptop

Since Oct. 2020, it’s been known that the Hunter Biden laptop story was suppressed just days ahead of the presidential election, seemingly to protect then-candidate Joe Biden, and while on its surface this looked to be the work of a heavily biased corporate media and Big Tech partnership, the latest “Twitter Files” showed actual thanks was communicated to the FBI.

Following journalist Matt Taibbi’s overview of the federal agency’s “constant and pervasive” contact with Twitter as part of an effort to censor accounts at their behest, including satire, and his subsequent supplemental that emphasized the pressure applied to encourage the removal of “official propaganda actors,” Michael Shellenberger tackled the G-men’s involvement in protecting the Bidens, even before the New York Post story.

“In Twitter Files #7, we present evidence pointing to an organized effort by representatives of the intelligence community (IC), aimed at senior executives at news and social media companies, to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published,” Shellenberger established.

As previously reported, former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker had been working as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel until the social media platform’s owner Elon Musk discovered the ex-fed attempted to secretly vet the “Twitter Files” to continue controlling the flow of information.

Monday, Shellenberger documented how, after repeated attempts to get then-executive Yoel Roth and the platform “to share data outside of the normal search warrant process,” San Francisco-based FBI agent Elvis Chan arranged in July 2020 for “temporary Top Secret security clearances for Twitter executives so that the FBI can share information about threats to the upcoming elections.”

By that point, “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.”

“Efforts continued to influence Twitter’s Yoel Roth. In Sept 2020, Roth participated in an Aspen Institute ‘tabletop exercise’ on a potential ‘Hack-and-Dump’ operation relating to Hunter Biden,” Shellenberger wrote, sharing images of a hypothetical timeline dubbed “The Burisma Leak” that broke down potential media and government reactions. “The goal was to shape how the media covered it — and how social media carried it.”

Other attendees included the former general manager of the New York Times, the former chief digital officer of NBC News, Facebook’s head of security policy, Times and Washington Post national security reporters and others, all organized by the former head of news at Twitter and former CEO of NPR, Vivian Schiller.

Also in September, according to Shellenberger, the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) head Laura Dehmlow and Chan sought a classified briefing with Baker without the inclusion of Twitter staff. Less than one month later, the Post story on Hunter’s laptop was released and though Roth said, “it isn’t clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else,” Baker insisted the materials were “faked, hacked, or both, and a violation of Twitter policy.”

Shellenberger shared how readily journalist Peter Schweizer was able to prove the veracity of the materials at the time and that the FBI would have been able to confirm Biden’s ownership of the laptop within “hours,” yet the record showed a “hack-and-dump” story like the one war gamed had been promoted to the Twitter executives, and the same day Baker arranged to have a phone call with Matthew J. Perry in the Office of the General Counsel of the FBI.

“There is evidence that FBI agents have warned elected officials of foreign influence with the primary goal of leaking the information to the news media,” he continued before making note that Baker had been investigated in 2017 and 2019 for leaking information to the media.

“In the end, the FBI’s influence campaign aimed at executives at news media, Twitter, & other social media companies worked: they censored & discredited the Hunter Biden laptop story. By Dec. 2020, Baker and his colleagues even sent a note of thanks to the FBI for its work,” he captioned an email thread.

Shellenberger also made note that “The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time,” and the pressure from the agency has continued even into August 2022 as the platform’s executives met with the FBI to see about satisfying their requests for emergency disclosure requests (EDRs) – in other words, warrantless searches.


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Kevin Haggerty


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