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February 10, 2023

FBI Under Fire in the House

A committee seeks to determine if and how much the deep state was involved in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.

The Committee on Oversight and Accountability has launched an investigation into the political weaponization of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Lord knows that there is plenty to investigate. The Twitter Files have been particularly rich with evidence of election interference by the deep state through the FBI. This is particularly true with the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Former Twitter executives and the deep state have been called on the carpet before Congress to explain themselves.

Yoel Roth, Vajaya Gadde, and Jim Baker were called to testify for Twitter’s blatant partisan censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story. Each former Twitter executive had a different thread of the yarn, and House Republicans attempted to weave those yarns into a complete tapestry.

Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) stated the purposes of the probe: “In the runup to the 2020 presidential election, Big Tech and the Swamp colluded to censor reporting about the Biden family’s shady business schemes. The U.S. intelligence community and the FBI frequently communicated with Big Tech and advised Twitter executives to question the validity of any Hunter Biden story — before the New York Post ever reported on it. We also know members of Twitter’s top censorship team debated how they could justify limiting the spread of the story. They landed on a policy that even some among them doubted. Americans deserve answers about this attack on the First Amendment and why Big Tech and the Swamp colluded to censor this information about the Biden family selling access for profit. Accountability is coming.”

Yoel Roth, former head of trust and safety at Twitter, explained the relationship between the FBI and Twitter. Roth had met with the FBI multiple times — once a week, in fact — in years past, and the FBI had given him reason to think there could be a “hack and leak” operation regarding Hunter Biden in October and it could be Russian disinformation. Roth claimed the FBI did not specifically advise him that the New York Post story about Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation; however, he assumed that it was because of the FBI warning.

Roth testified: “At that moment, with limited information, Twitter made a mistake. I’ve been clear that in my judgment at the time, Twitter should not have taken action to block the Post’s reporting. And just 24 hours after doing so, the company acknowledged its error.”

Jim Jordan (R-OH) remained unconvinced that the FBI was completely hands-off in this Twitter decision. His response: “I think you guys wanted to take it down. I think you guys got played by the FBI. And that’s the scary part. Because — this to me is the real takeaway — we had 51 former intelligence officials five days after you guys take down the Hunter Biden story and block the New York Post account, five days later, 51 intel officials send the letter [saying] that the Hunter Biden story has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation. The information operation was run on you guys and then by extension run on the American people. And that’s the concern.”

When it was Jim Baker’s turn, the former Twitter deputy general counsel — and former FBI attorney — was asked straight up if he talked to the FBI about the Hunter Biden story. Baker denied it. Baker was also asked if he communicated with the FBI after the story was censored on Twitter. Baker said he couldn’t recall. Gadde and Baker were both asked if they used message disappearing apps such as Snapchat, Signal, or Wicker to communicate with the FBI, to which they responded that they couldn’t recall. (When Roth was asked this question, he said yes.) Faulty memories seemed to have been Baker and Gadde’s best friend, and the lack of direct “yes” or “no” responses is very telling.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the notorious drama queen of The Squad, used her time of questioning to try to complain that this committee was wasting “public resources, and [was an] abuse of public time.” Her reasoning for this is that all the scandalous bits on Hunter’s laptop were “plants” — this is a largely debunked lie told by the Democrats. She argued the laptop was “half-fake.”

AOC also claimed that the “whole hearing [was] about a 24-hour hiccup and a right-wing political operation.” This is ridiculously false. Twitter blocked users from sharing the New York Post article on October 14 and froze the Post’s Twitter account. People could once again share the article on Twitter after two days, not one, on October 16. The New York Post was not reinstated on Twitter until October 30. That’s not a 24-hour hiccup. That’s a 16-day punishment of the press for printing the truth.

The Democrats invited their own Twitter middle manager, whistleblower Anika Navaroli, to testify before the committee that the censorship didn’t go far enough. Truth, though, is a foreign concept to AOC; true to form, she made the rest of her questioning time about herself and her grievances on social media — which is her favorite hobby horse. She questioned Navaroli, who was a former content manager at Twitter, about a mean Donald Trump tweet from 2019. Twitter changed policy based on that tweet in President Trump’s favor — at least according to AOC and Navaroli. Ocasio-Cortez’s point in this line of questioning was to point out that Twitter was mean to her too and therefore couldn’t be biased against right-wing conservatives.

Other Democrat members were equally dismissive of the committee’s prerogative to address the interference of the deep state in suppressing the Hunter laptop story. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called the proceedings “beyond silly.” White House spokesman Ian Sams derided it as the “latest effort by the House Republican majority’s most extreme MAGA members to question and relitigate the outcome of the 2020 election.”

Such aggressive meltdowns by Democrats are often an indicator that they’re trying to hide something. As the New York Post’s Miranda Devine put it, “The impressive blitzkrieg of lies mounted by Democrats Jamie Raskin, Daniel Goldman and AOC during Wednesday’s hearing shows just how high the stakes remain for the president as the Republican-controlled House begins to unravel the deceptions.”

Democrat lies to protect President Joe Biden are clearly misguided. The FBI’s intervention — using Twitter to suppress the Hunter laptop story — had serious election interference ramifications in 2020. More importantly, a deep state that uses its position of power to subvert or manipulate the will of the American people is deeply troubling and should concern Democrats as well as Republicans.

It really benefits both parties to root out the corruption and take steps to ensure that the deep state isn’t acting as the shadow government and is serving at the behest and for the benefit of the American people. That’s the ultimate goal for this hearing.

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