Talk about spreading “disinfo”! As The Post’s Miranda Devine reports, the FBI specifically warned Twitter to expect a “hack-and-leak” operation by “state actors” involving Hunter Biden, likely in October 2020, a key Twitter official says in a sworn declaration — even though the agency knew very well that info floating around about him was 100% legitimate.
Could evidence of an FBI coverup be any stronger?
The information came from Hunter’s laptop, which the agency itself had in its possession since 2019, a year before it issued its warnings.
And the FBI knew the laptop was legit, because in December 2019 it visited the owner of the repair shop where Hunter had abandoned it and verified its authenticity. (It even reportedly got its hands on a second Hunter laptop later, though as part of an unrelated investigation.)
Why were agents suggesting that info involving Hunter might be the work of “state actors” when the FBI knew darn well it wasn’t? Clearly, the goal was to nudge Twitter and others to squelch news that might damage Joe Biden’s election chances.
In a December 2020 sworn declaration, Twitter’s former head of site integrity Yoel Roth told the Federal Election Commission that agents warned him “individuals associated with political campaigns” were “subject to hacking attacks” and culprits would likely try to disseminate hacked info “over social media platforms.” Roth said they noted rumors that “a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”
Sure enough, when The Post ran its Oct. 14, 2020, scoop about Hunter’s laptop, Twitter immediately censored it, citing its “hacked materials” policy. The Post’s story revealed emails exposing Hunter’s shady foreign deals, including millions that went to Bidens.
Agents might’ve even known The Post was about to publish its scoop, since the FBI had been spying on Rudy Giuliani and had access to his emails. Some of them mentioned the laptop material and a discussion with Devine about when the paper would run the story. The (fake) warnings clearly had the desired effect.
This was the second time in four years that FBI agents spread disinfo in an apparent attempt to meddle in a presidential election: Recall that in 2016, they used the Clinton-campaign-funded Steele dossier, which they’d already discredited, as the basis for surveillance to probe supposed Trump campaign-Russia collusion.
And it turns out some of the people who got the media to suppress our Hunter story have ties to Russiagate names: Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan, for example, admits that before the 2020 election he organized weekly meetings with Facebook, which also limited access to our story. Chan was an acquaintance of Twitter counsel James Baker, who before that was a top FBI lawyer involved in the Russia-collusion plots, and also worked with fiercely anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
We’ll never know the suppression of The Post’s reporting changed the 2020 outcome, but it might’ve. It’s up to Congress and a hopefully-wiser media world to ensure some new censorship scheme doesn’t influence the vote in 2024.