An investigation by the Post found that the FBI’s influence spread much further than just James Baker, the FBI’s former general counsel who worked in the same capacity at Twitter before being fired by Musk. This latest investigation comes shortly after the release of another round of the Twitter Files which appear to show that the FBI dedicated dozens of agents to pressure Twitter to remove political tweets it didn’t like. In many cases, the former FBI agents were in positions of leadership that would allow them to directly influence the censorship of the Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story coverage in 2020.
One Twitter employee, Matthew Williams, joined the company in June 2020 as a “senior director of product trust,” after spending more than 15 years working with the FBI as an intelligence program manager and senior supervisory intelligence analyst. In June 2022 he was moved into the position of “senior director of product trust, revenue policy, counsel systems & analytics.” He noted that this made him “co-lead of Trust & Safety.”
Dawn Burton, a former federal prosecutor who served as deputy chief of staff to FBI boss James Comey, joined Twitter in September of 2019 as director of strategy and operations and counsel organization. Burton would have been close to the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation due to her connection with Comey and the agency’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
It is also reported that Yoel Roth, the leader of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, had regular meetings with the FBI in the run-up to the 2020 presidential elections and even joked about these meetings in internal company communications.
In a Dec. 21, 2020, declaration to the Federal Election Commission, Roth said: “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. I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”