This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
In the flood of information from Elon Musk’s release of internal Twitter documents – the “Twitter Files” – both pundits and the public are missing “the most egregious political scandal in recent history,” contends Washington attorney and political commentator Margot Cleveland.
The big story, writes The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent, is that the FBI “interfered in the 2020 election by lying to tech giants about the Hunter Biden laptop story to induce Twitter, Facebook, and likely others to censor the story.”
The bureau targeted the New York Post’s Oct. 14, 2020 article – “Smoking-Gun Email Reveals How Hunter Biden Introduced Ukrainian Businessman to VP Dad” – presenting emails, text messages, and videos countering Joe Biden’s claim he never discussed with his son the family’s business of selling access to the White House.
The first edition of the “Twitter Files,” by independent journalist Matt Taibbi, showed Twitter censored the Post’s story based on its “hacked materials” policy and suspended the paper’s official account.
Yoel Roth, then Twitter’s head of trust and safety, justified the censorship despite the facts remaining “unclear,” insisting there were “SEVERE risks here and lessons of 2016,” when Donald Trump won the White House.
But intelligence agencies already had primed Twitter and Facebook to censor the Post story, casting it as malign interference in the election.
Roth acknowledged in a Dec. 21, 2020, declaration to the Federal Election Commission that “since 2018 he had regular meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and industry peers regarding election security.”
“During these weekly meetings, 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,” Roth said.
During those meetings, Roth said, he learned “that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted during an August 2020 interview with Joe Rogan that the FBI “basically came to us, some folks on our team, [saying,] ‘Hey just so you know, you should be on high alert.”
The bureau, according to Zuckerberg, pointed to “Russian propaganda in the 2016 election” and said, “we have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump similar to that so just be vigilant.”
Cleveland wrote that the FBI’s “warning and the federal government’s efforts to prompt the private censorship of speech, however, are not the heart of the scandal.”
“Worse still is that the New York Post story was true, the computer files were not hacked, and the October surprise was not Russian disinformation but a legitimate and important news report establishing Joe Biden lied to the American public about his knowledge of his son’s business dealings and was also implicated in a pay-to-play scandal,” she said.
She noted that the FBI knew those facts for nearly one year after having seized the Hunter Biden laptop from the computer repair shop owner in December 2019.
“So, not only did the FBI prompt Twitter and Facebook to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, the bureau did so by deceiving the companies,” she wrote.