FBI’s fake ‘warnings’ about our Hunter story were clearly a coverup to aid Joe Biden

By Post Editorial Board – Dec 5, 2022 – The New York Post

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.

FBI warned Twitter during ‘weekly’ meetings of Hunter Biden ‘hack-and-leak operation’ before censoring The Post

By Miranda Devine – December 4, 2022 – The New York Post

The FBI warned Twitter during “weekly” meetings before the 2020 election to expect “hack-and-leak operations’’ by “state actors” involving Hunter Biden, and “likely” in October, according to a sworn declaration by Twitter’s former head of site integrity, Yoel Roth. 

The warnings were so specific that Twitter immediately censored The Post’s scoop about Hunter Biden’s laptop on Oct. 14, 2020, citing its “hacked materials” policy, a move described on Saturday as “election interference” by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk

The extraordinary revelation for the first time lays bare how the FBI was involved in pre-bunking the story of the laptop, which had been in the bureau’s possession for almost a year. 

“I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter,” said Roth in a Dec. 21, 2020, declaration to the Federal Election Commission. 

“I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.” 

Roth’s signed declaration formed part of Twitter’s defense against a complaint by the Tea Party Patriots Foundation that its censorship of The Post was an “in­ kind” campaign contribution to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign. 

Feds’ social gatherings 

The FBI also warned Facebook to be on “high alert” for a “dump” of “Russian propaganda” before the 2020 election, in terms specific enough that it “fit the pattern” of The Post’s story, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan in August. 

Facebook also censored The Post ahead of Twitter’s throttling of the story in October, pending “fact checks” that never appear to have been done. 

The FBI agent who organized those weekly meetings with Big Tech was Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan, whose postgraduate thesis claimed that Russia interfered with the 2016 election to help former President Donald Trump. 

Chan testified by Zoom Tuesday in a lawsuit against the Biden administration that he organized the meetings in San Francisco for as many as seven DC-based FBI agents in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. Chan also organized weekly meetings with Facebook. 

The lawsuit brought by the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana alleges that White House officials and federal agencies acted with Big Tech to censor “disfavored speakers, viewpoints and content on social-media platforms.” 

Under questioning by Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer on Tuesday, Chan said the FBI warned Twitter to be on guard for a “hack and leak” operation but could not recall whether Hunter Biden was mentioned.

According to sworn testimony from a Twitter employee, the FBI warned the company about a “hack” involving Hunter Biden before The Post published its report on Biden’s laptop

This is a crucial inconsistency with Roth’s sworn declaration saying the FBI specifically mentioned Hunter. 

The FBI used the meetings to lobby the social media platforms to change their terms of service in order to be able to quickly take down “hacked material,” says a source with access to a transcript of Chan’s testimony. 

It looks very much as if the FBI pre-bunked a story it knew was coming about Hunter Biden. But how would it know The Post was going to publish the story in October 2020? 

Well, the FBI was spying on Trump’s then-lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s online cloud, under the pretext of an investigation into alleged foreign agent registration violations, a probe which conveniently was dropped this year. 

The covert surveillance warrant on Giuliani gave the FBI access to emails in August 2020 from Delaware computer repair store owner John Paul Mac Isaac disclosing information damaging to Joe Biden from the laptop Hunter Biden had abandoned at his store in April 2019. 

The FBI also had access to my messages with Giuliani in October discussing when The Post would publish the story. 

The FBI knew that Mac Isaac was a legitimate whistleblower because he had come to the bureau in the fall of 2019 to express national security concerns about evidence on the laptop of payments to the Biden family from Ukraine and China. On Dec. 9, 2019, two agents arrived at his store with a subpoena and took the laptop and a hard-drive copy. 

We know from FBI whistleblowers who have come forward to Republican members of Congress that rogue FBI employees within the Washington Field Office buried the laptop and other information detrimental to Joe Biden before the 2020 election. 

Now, thanks to Elon Musk, we know more about Twitter’s role in this apparent interference. 

During a live Q&A session on Twitter Saturday afternoon, Musk said: “If Twitter is doing one team’s bidding before an election, shutting down dissenting voices on a pivotal election, that is the very definition of election interference. … Frankly Twitter was acting like an arm of the Democratic National Committee. It was absurd.” 

But, despite promises to reveal all about the censorship of The Post, Musk’s Friday night dump of what he calls the “Twitter Files” left out one crucial element: the FBI. 

Journalist Matt Taibbi, deputized by Musk to release the information, tweeted that “there’s no evidence — that I’ve seen — of any government involvement in the laptop story.” 

This contradicts Roth’s sworn declaration that the FBI warned of a “hack and leak” operation involving Hunter Biden, as well as Twitter’s lawyers’ response to the FEC in December 2020. 

Law firm Covington & Burling told the FEC that Twitter “had been warned throughout 2020 by federal law enforcement agencies to be on the alert for expected ‘hack-and-leak operations’ undertaken by malign state actors, in which those state actors might hack electronic communications of individuals associated with political campaigns and seek to disseminate the leaked materials. … Reports from the law enforcement agencies even suggested there were rumors that such a hack-and-leak operation would be related to Hunter Biden.” 

Then there is the curious role of Twitter deputy general counsel James Baker, who is former general counsel at the FBI, where he was involved in Russia-collusion plots against Trump. 

According to Taibbi, Baker advised that The Post’s story should be censored because “the materials may have been hacked [and] caution is warranted. “ 

Before he was parachuted into Twitter, in June 2020, conveniently just five months before the election, Baker was a personal acquaintance of FBI agent Chan. 

Rooting for Biden 

Chan testified Tuesday that he knew Baker from when they worked together in 2016 with FBI “lovebirds” agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page on an investigation of a hack on Yahoo. 

He said he remains in touch with Page, who, with Strzok, was forced out of the bureau after their virulently anti-Trump text messages were revealed. 

Baker also is connected to some of the 51 intelligence officials who signed the Oct. 19, 2020, letter, published five days after The Post’s laptop bombshell, falsely alleging that Hunter’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” 

Three days after the letter, candidate Biden used the letter to get off the hook in his final debate against Trump: “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what [Trump is] accusing me of is a Russian plant … what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage.” 

Between leaving the FBI in 2018 and joining Twitter, Baker worked for the Brookings Institution, writing for the Lawfare Blog, which is published by David Priess, an ex-CIA agent who signed the “Dirty 51” letter and is the chief operating officer of the Lawfare Institute and publisher of the blog. Six more signatories of the letter are linked to the Lawfare Blog. 

It’s a cozy network where everyone was rooting for Biden to beat Trump in 2020 — and Twitter was a useful fellow traveler.

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