The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a new statement Wednesday following the latest “Twitter Files” dump.
The FBI accused the “Twitter Files” release as an attempt “to discredit” the agency by disclosing information on the FBI’s correspondence with Twitter in October 2020. Journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that the agency warned the previous executives at Twitter of a “hack-and-leak” by “state actors” surrounding the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop to influence the 2020 presidential election.
“The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries. As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers. The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public,” the statement began.
“It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,” the agency concluded.
The “Twitter Files” revealed that the FBI and Twitter worked closely in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election. Internal documents published Monday found that the FBI paid Twitter nearly $3.5 million between October 2019 and February 2021 for managing its financial burdens caused while complying with the agency’s requests. (RELATED: Twitter Gave ‘Special Protection’ To Pentagon Propaganda Accounts, Docs Show)
Taibbi reported he found no evidence that the FBI had involvement in Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post’s report on Hunter Biden’s laptop, though new reports released by author Michael Shellenberger indicated they may have, in fact, been involved.
Former FBI Deputy General Counsel James Baker argued Twitter’s then-head of trust and safety Yoel Roth’s claim that the Post’s report did not violate the social media site’s policies on October 14, according to Shellenberger. The agency had already been in possession of Biden’s laptop since December 2019, indicating that the agency knew the Post reported the story accurately.
Musk announced Dec. 6 that he fired Baker for allegedly withholding the release of documents related to the suppression of Biden’s laptop.
The agency also flagged certain tweets for Twitter to remove from the platform, the files found. Some agents were even employed at the social media company.
Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer, the incoming House Oversight Chair, said Tuesday that Congress should block funding of the FBI until it disclosed the alleged involvement in Big Tech censorship.
“In the beginning, I thought that there were probably two or three rogue employees who were orchestrating this cover up of the Hunter Biden laptop story, but now we know the FBI had a division of at least 80 agents,” Comer said. “We also know that the FBI paid Twitter over $3 million for their time, all the time they took over the past couple of years in telling them who to suppress, who to ban. You know, it’s just things that the government has no role in.”
“The FBI was never granted the authority to create any type of disinformation task force that policed the social media sites. Now this we know with Twitter,” he continued. “We’ve heard similar stories from Zuckerberg. Who knows what went on at YouTube and Google. This is an agency that’s out of control.”