According to the “Twitter Files” released by Elon Musk and journalist Matt Taibbi, the same FBI agent who played a crucial role in conducting illegal surveillance on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign also played a part in censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 election.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the files posted by Taibbi with Musk’s approval revealed many more key details about the process by which Twitter systematically censored conservative viewpoints, leading up to the banning of the New York Post’s story in October of 2020 just days before the election, even despite dissent from within and from Democratic lawmakers.
FBI agent James Baker, who in 2020 was Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, claimed after the Post story first came out that it was “reasonable to assume” that the materials from Hunter’s laptop “may have been” hacked, and thus had to be banned under Twitter’s policy against sharing content that had been hacked or stolen.
“I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked. At this stage, however, it is reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted,” Baker wrote in an email at the time, the text of which was posted by Taibbi. “There are some facts that indicate that the materials may have been hacked, while there are others indicating that the computer was either abandoned and/or the owner consented to allow the repair shop to access it for at least some purposes.”
But several years prior, while serving as general counsel for the FBI, Baker was the one who personally reviewed the FBI’s FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Although Baker’s superiors were initially reluctant to approve such a warrant due to the lack of evidence, the warrant was ultimately approved several months later after former British spy Christopher Steele submitted his now-debunked dossier claiming collusion between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Baker has since defended the Steele dossier, even despite being completely discredited, claiming that “When a source shows up with a big stack of information, as in this case, you go to work. It came in from what appears to be a reliable source. He gives you all this information. Go to work. Try to validate it.”
Baker eventually fell under investigation himself by the Department of Justice after allegations arose that he had been sharing classified information with reporters. He resigned a disgrace in 2018, before being hired by Twitter in 2020.