by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 29, 2022) — In a single tweet Thursday afternoon, Matt Taibbi, one of the journalists releasing “Twitter Files” authorized by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, pledged to publish additional “Files” in which more information regarding the relationship between the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and Twitter will appear.
Taibbi is one of five journalists to date to whom Musk provided access to Twitter archives generated prior to Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the company on October 27, 2022. Since December 2, successive batches of “Twitter Files” have been published by Taibbi, The Free Press founder and editor Bari Weiss, Free Press contributors Michael Shellenberger and David Zweig, and The Intercept‘s Lee Fang.
On Monday, Zweig released “Files” subtitled, “HOW TWITTER RIGGED THE COVID DEBATE.” His revelations were a departure from those Taibbi released December 24 and previously demonstrating an effort on the part of U.S. government agencies, and particularly the FBI, to influence Twitter executives to silence accounts and messaging deemed objectionable or “violative” of Twitter’s stated policies in the months before the 2020 election.
In his tweet Thursday, Taibbi quoted from an email from FBI-San Francisco agent Elvis Chan to then-Twitter Head of Trust & Safety Yoel Roth in which Chan wrote, “We can give you everything we’re seeing from the FBI and USIC agencies. CISA will know what is going on in each state.”
Previously Taibbi revealed that not only the FBI, but also the CIA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) were in regular contact with Twitter executives in the months before the election. An official statement Roth provided to the FEC two years ago contends the intelligence community was in regular contact with Twitter as early as 2018, purportedly to discuss “election security.”
Through earlier “Files” releases, Chan was shown to have submitted numerous requests for account removals, questioned Twitter’s judgment when it did not concur that certain accounts should be censored, and likely uploaded documentation warning of a “hack-and-leak” operation involving Hunter Biden, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son. When The New York Post‘s exclusive October 14, 2020 story on the younger Biden’s laptop emerged the following day, Twitter and other social-media sites promptly censored it.
In a recent interview, Roth said he regretted Twitter’s decision to censor the story, which contains evidence that Joe Biden not only knew about his son’s overseas business dealings which remunerated the Biden family generously, but also played a role in them, contrary to assertions Biden made during the campaign.
In a subsequent tweet Thursday afternoon, Taibbi whetted the audience’s appetite by asking, “Which U.S. agency had a ‘mandate for offensive IO to promote American interests,’ according to Twitter executives?”
He then apologized for a “delay” in publishing more “Files,” stating his new release will come on Friday.