Former Twitter executives who appeared before the Congressional Oversight Committee on Wednesday were given a stern warning by Rep. Clay Higgins, who said arrests were imminent.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss how Twitter prevented the New York Post from sharing a report on Hunter Biden’s laptop prior to the 2020 election.
Twitter’s former Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth, former Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, former Twitter deputy counsel James Baker, and former employee Anika Collier Navaroli were told that the FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop for a year, knowing it was leaking and that the leaks would harm the Biden campaign.
A month before the 2020 election, the FBI has been accused of using its relationship with Twitter to suppress criminal evidence against Joe Biden.
“You, ladies and gentlemen, knowingly and willingly interfered with the United States of America 2020 presidential election,” said the chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. “The bad news is that it will only get worse because this is the investigation phase. The arrest comes later. Your lawyers are aware of this.”
Former Twitter executives admitted they made a mistake by blocking a story about Hunter Biden from the social media platform in the run-up to the 2020 election, but they vehemently denied they were pressured to suppress the story by Democrats and the FBI.
Twitter Execs Fired
Former Twitter deputy general counsel Jim Baker defended his and Twitter’s actions in the Hunter Biden laptop censorship saga. Baker previously served as the FBI’s general counsel under since-fired FBI Director James Comey.
“I was not aware of and certainly did not engage in any conspiracy or other effort to do anything unethical, improper, or unlawful while I was at Twitter. “Plain and simple,” Baker said. “I did not do anything illegal or inappropriate with regard to Hunter Biden’s laptop computer.” I am not aware of any illegal collusion or direction from any government agency or political campaign regarding how Twitter should have handled the Hunter Biden laptop situation.”
In May 2021, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated that blocking the Hunter Biden story was a “total mistake.”
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former global head of trust and safety, and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former chief legal officer, both testified on Wednesday.
Elon Musk terminated Gadde in October 2022, Roth in November 2022, and Baker in December 2022. All three were involved in Twitter discussions about censoring the Hunter Biden laptop stories in October 2020.
In late 2022, Elon Musk began providing internal Twitter records to select reporters. The FBI established a “virtual war room” with Twitter in September 2020 to deal with alleged election misinformation, according to the “Twitter Files” disclosures.
The channel appeared to be a communication channel between the FBI and Twitter, with representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence participating.
Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth initially determined that the New York Post story did not violate the company’s hacked materials policy.
He changed his mind after Baker said the documents could have been faked or hacked. Twitter’s interactions with the federal government were defended by Roth.
Hunter Biden Story Suppressed
Roth stated this in a declaration to the Federal Election Commission in December 2020. “During these weekly meetings, federal law enforcement agencies communicated that ‘hack-and-leak operations’ by state actors were likely to occur in the period leading up to the 2020 presidential election, most likely in October.”
“Throughout 2020, these hack-and-leak operations were discussed. During these meetings, I also learned that there were rumors that Hunter Biden would be involved in a hack-and-leak operation.”
Roth stated that his team eventually barred Twitter users from sharing links to New York Post articles. He stated that he did not consult with any Biden campaign representatives before censoring the articles. On Wednesday, however, he admitted that Twitter “erred in this case” because “We didn’t want to make the same mistakes we did in 2016.”
Former Twitter chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde attempted to argue that “at no point did Twitter prohibit tweeting, reporting, discussing, or describing the contents of Mr. Biden’s laptop.”
She did, however, claim that Twitter “had not fully appreciated the potential impact” of the laptop censorship policy “on the free press and others,” and that Twitter quickly “admitted its initial action was incorrect.”
Some Democrats attempted to deflect the hearing’s focus by inviting surprise witness Anika Navaroli, a member of Twitter’s censorship team who was hailed as a hero after she assisted the weaponized Jan. 6 Committee in furthering its anti-free speech agenda, to testify about Twitter’s need for more censorship.
Others, including newly elected Democrat Rep. Maxwell Frost, suggested the hearing was the result of GOP dissatisfaction with the results of the 2020 presidential election.
By Geoff Thomas