Bring Them In

As I have reported over the past several weeks, Big Tech monopolies are interfering in the 2020 election on behalf of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. Their involvement, some rightly argue, is straight-up electioneering and could constitute egregious campaign finance violations since corporations are prohibited from directly donating to political candidates. By banning Republican content while amplifying Democratic Party messaging this close to a national election, Big Tech in essence is contributing potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in free advertisements (in-kind contributions) to Democratic candidates, including their nominee for president. “Twitter, and Facebook…they’re like really, it’s a massive campaign contribution,” President Trump said on Fox Business News Thursday morning.

Their involvement will extend past Election Day and into January 2021 if the results are still unknown. In the interim, Silicon Valley oligarchs plan to crush any online dissent, including by the president of the United States, if a message runs afoul of plans to install Joe Biden in the White House. Even if Trump legitimately wins reelection, any premature declaration of victory will be suppressed or outright removed from social media and Internet search engines.

Whatever attempt there may have been to conceal this orchestrated operation, however, was blown wide open Wednesday after the New York Post published explosive emails and photos retrieved from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop computer. Communications appear to confirm that Joe Biden met with an executive of Burisma and his son in 2015 despite Biden’s repeated denials. 

Further, another email apparently shows that the Obama White House and a Democratic-tied public relations firm, also retained by Burisma, held a call to discuss Biden’s trip to Ukraine in December 2015, the same trip during which the vice president threatened to withhold a U.S. loan guarantee until a Ukrainian prosecutor looking into Burisma’s criminality was fired. (Victor Shokin was fired a few months later.)

The timing of the bombshell reports—Rudy Guiliani, the source behind the release of the information recovered from the hard drive said to be Hunter Biden’s, promises more to come in the days ahead—rocked the political world. 

Biden announced a “lid” on campaign activities immediately after the articles went viral. His campaign spokesman said the alleged 2015 meeting between Hunter, his pop, and the Burisma executive did not appear on Biden’s “official schedule,” but an advisor told Politico later in the day that they could not rule out the possibility that Biden “had some kind of informal interaction with [Burisma’s Vadym] Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory.”

Any confirmation that Biden met with a Burisma executive, either formally or informally, would expose Biden’s past denials as a lie, a potentially campaign-ending revelation with less than three weeks until Election Day.

While Biden’s lackeys in the media attempted to discredit the Post’s coverage as part of a “Russian disinformation campaign” against the Democratic nominee, Twitter and Facebook swooped in to save the day. Twitter blocked users from sharing the article; a warning attached to the article claimed the Post’s website was “unsafe.” Accounts belonging to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the House Judiciary Committee, and Trump’s campaign team were censored. As of Thursday afternoon, the Post’s Twitter feed remained locked. (In September, Twitter’s public policy director left the company to join the Biden transition team.)

Facebook also announced it would reduce the story’s accessibility pending a “fact-check” review of the materials. Andy Stone, the Facebook spokesman who posted the alert on Twitter, is a former Democratic staffer.

The censorship quickly caught the attention of Senate Republicans. In a tweet Wednesday evening, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said the actions by Facebook and Twitter “are potential violations of election law, and that’s a crime.” 

The first-term senator, a Big Tech hawk who has pushed for the repeal of the FCC’s Section 230 protections for social media platforms, also sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission on October 14. It read in part: 

Federal law prohibits any corporation from making a contribution to a federal candidate for office. 52 U.S.C. § 30118(a). Twitter and Facebook are both corporations. A ‘contribution’ includes ‘anything of value . . . for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office.’ 52 U.S.C. § 30101(8)(A)(i). Twitter’s and Facebook’s active suppression of public speech about the New York Post article appears to constitute contributions under federal law. There can be no serious doubt that the Biden campaign derives extraordinary value from depriving voters access to information that, if true, would link the former vice president to corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs.

Hawley’s letter, unfortunately, will go nowhere fast. The FEC is short a commissioner and cannot call a quorum; three of the agency’s six seats are vacant. Further, Democratic appointee and Trump troll Ellen Weintraub remains at the FEC years after her term expired. Even if the agency could conduct business, it’s unlikely that any action would be taken this year.

With the clock winding down and millions of Americans already voting, Senate Republicans announced Thursday they plan to subpoena Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday to compel testimony from both tech titans next Friday. 

“The attempt to rig an election, which is what we’re seeing here, by monopolies is unprecedented in American history,” Hawley told reporters October 15 during a break from Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Senators shouldn’t waste too much time grilling the pair about censorship—which isn’t against the law—or even whining about Section 230 breeches, which most Americans don’t understand. A better plan would be to ask Dorsey and Zuckerberg to monetize their de facto contributions to Joe Biden and the Democrats. After all, the platforms also are censoring content critical of mail-in voting at the same time reports of mail-in voting fraud are rampant.

Senators should also press Dorsey and Zuckerberg about their post-election plans. Facebook will prohibit any candidate, including the president, from declaring victory until the results are certified; that rule aligns with Democrats’ plan to extend Election Day until “every vote is counted.” The delay could last several weeks. Twitter undoubtedly will follow Facebook’s lead.

Most Americans are unaware of Big Tech’s unscrupulous and potentially unlawful involvement in the 2020 presidential election. A public congressional hearing will alert Americans about what these powerful monopolies are up to plus what’s in store after Election Day.

And Twitter and Facebook won’t be able to ban it.

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