The FBI handed nearly $3.5 million of taxpayers money to Twitter to pay its staff to handle requests from the bureau as it sought to ban accounts.
The most recent batch of Twitter files just revealed this.
Emails show that Twitter’s deputy counsel Jim Baker met with feds for top secret meeting – a day before he said Hunter laptop should be banned.
A Twitter employee wrote in a February 2020 email that the company’s Safety, Content & Law Enforcement (SCALE) had ‘collected $3,415,323’ in less than two years from the FBI for ‘law-enforcement related projects.’
The email, which was revealed by journalist Michael Shellenberger, stated that SCALE had instituted a ‘reimbursement program’ in exchange for devoting staff hours to ‘processing requests from the FBI’.
The emails was entitled ‘Run the business – We made money!’.
The accounts the FBI asked Twitter to ban were largely linked to conservatives and ‘foreign influence operations’.
Twitter initially believed the Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘Russian disinformation’.
It was revealed Monday that Jim Baker, Twitter’s top lawyer and ex-FBI general counsel, personally intervened to say it should be banned.
Baker told Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security, that the laptop story should be blocked – a day after getting a top secret briefing from his former FBI colleagues.
He wrote: ‘There are some facts that indicate the materials may have been hacked. We simply need more information.’
We went on to write: ‘I’m guessing we are going to restrict access to their article as violation of our Hacked Materials policy.’
An investigation into Twitter’s behavior around the 2020 presidential election by the incoming Republican majority in the house has been promised with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling Fox News this week: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.’
Current Twitter CEO Elon Musk said of the emails: ‘Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.’
In a previous dump, journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted: ‘Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.’
In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: ‘We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today.’
He went on: ‘Every day we learn something more.’
The congressman from California continued: ‘Why are they [the FBI] able to do this? Working together, using private businesses to go after individuals right before an election, denying the American public the truth?’
McCarthy is one of the many Republicans who will be calling for a more thorough investigation of the FBI’s relationship with social media when the GOP takes control of the house in 2023.
McCarthy added: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.’
Shellenberger’s dump on Monday showed how the FBI pushed Twitter staffers to receive top-level security clearance in July 2020.
Following the release, Shellenberger retweeted a quote from Ohio GOP congressman Jim Jordan: ‘I have concerns about whether the government was running a misinformation operation on We the People.’
The reporter added: ‘Anyone who reads the Twitter Files, regardless of their political orientation, should share those concerns.’
The feds went on to pressure Twitter staffers to ban accounts that they were not fond of and to target alleged ‘foreign influence’ peddlers.
On September 15 2020, another FBI agent, Laura Dehmlow, requested she be allowed to give Baker a top secret briefing with no other staff present.
Baker’s shameless attempts to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story – which has since been proven to be accurate – where also shared by Shellenberger.
Monday’s Twitter Files release also showed that so many ex-FBI staffers had joined the social media network, there was now a private Slack channel set up just for them.
The most recent ‘Twitter Files’ also revealed how an FBI official-turned Twitter lawyer sent a letter thanking the Bureau for its help suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Baker, who before serving as deputy general counsel for Twitter held a similar role for the FBI, worked closely with Bureau when it teamed up with the social media company to fight what it called election interference from foreign nations.
As a result of those efforts Twitter blocked The New York Post’s reporting of the story on the social media website. At the end of the process, the latest Twitter files revealed that Baker and his team agreed to sign a letter to the FBI agents who worked on the project, thanking them for their efforts.
The revelations are the latest to come out of the Twitter Files, which Elon Musk has been releasing to demonstrate the social media company’s past censorship initiatives.
Baker was not the only former FBI staffer. According to one internal Twitter email reviewed by Stellenberger there were so many they had their own Slack channel and regularly communicated.
Once Baker was given clearance, Shellenberger wrote that the FBI fed him information intended to influence Roth and other Twitter executives into believing that the laptop story was hacked.
FBI official Laura Dehmlow even arranged for a classified briefing for Baker and nobody else at Twitter.
Hours after The Post published their laptop story the next day, it was almost immediately censored by Twitter and thus undermined in the public eye.
The files showed that as Hunter Biden was earning millions in foreign business dealings, the FBI had advised Twitter to be on the lookout for Russian misinformation about him.
‘During all of 2020, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies repeatedly primed Yoel Roth to dismiss reports of Hunter Biden’s laptop as a Russian ‘hack and leak’ operation,’ Shellenberger wrote.
Despite those efforts by the FBI, Twitter executives found there had been ‘very little’ Russian activity that raised any suspicions.’
Indeed, Twitter executives *repeatedly* reported very little Russian activity. E.g., on Sept 24, 2020, Twitter told FBI it had removed 345 ‘largely inactive’ accounts ‘linked to previous coordinated Russian hacking attempts.’ They ‘had little reach & low follower accounts,’ he wrote.
Shellenberger later suggested it was obvious that the FBI’s pressures on Twitter executives led directly to them assuming the position that the laptop story had been faked.