A new "Twitter Files" release reveals that the FBI likely played a central role in Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 presidential election.
In Twitter Files Part 6, Substack writer Matt Taibbi detailed the close relationship between Twitter and the FBI.
"Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary," he wrote.
Taibbi provided numerous examples showing how the FBI sought to have Twitter censor users and content.
The FBI responded with a statement, claiming:
The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities. Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.
Author Michael Shellenberger followed Taibbi's reporting with Twitter Files Part 7, which Shellenberger titled:
The FBI & the Hunter Biden Laptop: 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.
Shellenberger sums his reporting up, writing:
In Twitter Files #7, we present evidence pointing to an organized effort by representatives of the intelligence community (IC), aimed at senior executives at news and social media companies, to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published.
A key point is that the FBI told Twitter that a "hack-and-leak" situation, involving Hunter Biden, would occur in October 2020 despite knowing that the laptop was not hacked.
The significance of this cannot be understated.
The likelihood is that the FBI's warning influenced Twitter's decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story. And, polling has shown that the censorship of this story interfered with the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The FBI has, once again, responded with a statement looking to discredit this revelation.
"It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency," the agency wrote.
Many responded by criticizing the agency's statement, including George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, who wrote:
It is not clear what is more chilling: the menacing role played by the FBI in Twitter’s censorship program or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. This week saw another FBI 'nothing-to-see-here' statement to the Twitter files.
Reports indicate that House Republicans, with their incoming majority, may look to conduct a top-to-bottom investigation of the FBI regarding this and other allegations of politicization and corruption.