Latest ‘Twitter Files’ installment shows FBI paid platform $3.4 million to do its dirty work on censorship, Hunter Biden stories

There have already been several releases through independent journalists of the so-called “Twitter Files” — internal communications and documents of the platform’s employees and executives before Elon Musk took over — that exposed the platform’s censorious behavior toward conservatives and independents, particularly with regard to the Hunter Biden laptop story.

In the latest installment, it was shown how the FBI repeatedly pressured Twitter executives to engage in censorship, deliberately misled them about the provenance of the Hunter Biden laptop story, and even paid the platform millions of taxpayer dollars for doing the bureau’s bidding, the Daily Wire reported.

This information, more so than any of the prior releases, strongly suggests that congressional investigations and potentially even federal prosecution are warranted for the FBI’s apparent violation of the First Amendment by paying Twitter — and almost certainly other platforms — to engage in the sort of behavior that it is explicitly prohibited from doing itself.

FBI lied ahead of time about released contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop

Author Michael Shellenberger on Monday posted a nearly 50-tweet thread that was dubbed the “Twitter Files: Part Seven,” in which he focused in on the communications between the FBI and Twitter with specific regard to the Hunter Biden laptop story, or, “How the FBI & intelligence community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and *before* The New York Post revealed the contents of his laptop on October 14, 2020.”

The thread noted how the FBI had taken possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop in December 2019 and how the bureau had, on numerous occasions, “primed” executives at Twitter and elsewhere to be on guard for a foreign “hack and leak” campaign about the abandoned laptop it possessed ahead of the 2020 elections, likely in mid-October.

This was done even as Twitter insisted it had seen no substantial suspicious foreign activity on the platform and the FBI has acknowledged separately that it had no new information whatsoever to indicate that such a situation would occur.

The effort to prime Twitter and others to automatically regard any late-breaking information about Hunter Biden as a foreign interference operation and immediately censor and suppress it as discredited was most evident in a September 2020 “tabletop exercise” at the FBI-connected Aspen Institute that gamed out what a Hunter Biden laptop leak from foreign sources might look like and how news outlets and social media platforms should handle it.

FBI paid Twitter $3.4 million

Shellenberger’s thread also showed that, in addition to priming Twitter ahead of time to instantly reject anything about Hunter Biden’s laptop, the FBI had repeatedly and consistently leaned on and pressured the platform to grant warrantless access to user information or to provide such information to the bureau itself, which actually garnered some surprising pushback from some executives.

The most damning revelation of the entire thread, however, was that the FBI paid Twitter more than $3.4 million in taxpayer funds, ostensibly to compensate the platform’s employees for doing the FBI’s dirty work for them.

Time for Congress to seriously scrutinize the FBI

The FBI, despite possessing Hunter Biden’s laptop and knowing its contents were legitimate, purposefully lied to and mislead Twitter and others ahead of time about that information to discredit it, pressured Twitter and others to act unlawfully on its behalf, and even paid the platform with taxpayer money to coerce and compensate it for its cooperation.

If this doesn’t prove that the FBI has become a lawless and partisan outfit unconstrained by the U.S. Constitution and result in substantially more congressional oversight, if not the sacking and prosecution of senior leaders and culpable agents, then it is likely that nothing else will.

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