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PoliticsSocial MediaTwitter Files supplement: Ex-FBI official colluded in blocking information Musk's management needs

Twitter Files supplement: Ex-FBI official colluded in blocking information Musk’s management needs

The old Twitter management was handing over the firm’s files to the new through a lawyer with dubious antecedents, a journalist involved in the process alleges

The pre-Elon Musk management of Twitter had hired a former attorney of the FBI for vetting files that were to be handed over to the billionaire (to study whether owning the company would be legally sound). These documents included papers that might reveal the collusion of the American law-enforcement agency with the Jack Dorsey management. Musk did not know this was going on in the office that he has taken over as its new boss. Making this revelation, Eric Ross Weinstein, an American podcast host and a managing director of Thiel Capital, made a thread of tweets on 7 December, tagging Common Sense Editor Bari Weiss and author Matt Taibbi — who are also journalists — who had published Twitter Files 1 earlier.

Twitter Files 1: How Vijaya Gadde suppressed Hunter Biden laptop story during US presidential election

The old Twitter management was supposed to produce the files by handing them over to Weiss and Taibbi through a close to the new management. “However, after the initial batch, things became complicated,” Taibbi shared and revealed who that lawyer was.

The former attorney of the FBI who is also Twitter’s former top attorney is James Baker. He allegedly “passed on fake dirt from the Hillary Clinton campaign’s operatives in 2016, alleging a secret online portal from Russia’s Alfa Bank to former President Donald Trump, investigative journalist Lee Fang tweeted.

Weinstein quoted Fang to launch his thread of tweets. Further, the podcaster mocked the term “nothing burger”, which was once used by the former Twitter management to tell the world what they were censoring was nothing serious. Also spelt as one word, “nothingburger”, it is American slang for “something that is or turns out to be insignificant or lacking in substance”.

Accusing the mainstream media of collusion in the alleged unethical stonewalling, Weinstein wrote, “Maybe we need to make clear that the mainstream media isn’t trusted to hold back ‘nothing-burgers’ from the public. What other Nothing-Burgers has news media held back? Is there a Wuhan Institute Nothing-Burger? An Epstein Nothing-Burger?”

The podcaster wrote that when he had interacted with Weiss last Saturday, she said that she had not been able to get at the source material yet, “which was totally puzzling”, but after knowing the FBI’s involvement, it was making sense. Weinstein quoted a thread by Taibbi that told the rest of the Twitter Files 2 story.

Taibbi shared the information that on 6 December, Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker was fired. Baker is also a former FBI general counsel. “Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of ‘Twitter Files’ – without knowledge of new management,” Taibbi wrote.

It was Weiss who came to know of the former FBI official’s involvement. The first batch of files she and he received was marked “Spectra Baker Emails”, Taibbi wrote.

The author-cum-journalist then explained why the involvement of the former FBI official was problematic. “Baker is a controversial figure. He has been something of a Zelig of FBI controversies dating back to 2016, from the Steele Dossier to the Alfa-Server mess. He resigned in 2018 after an investigation into leaks to the press,” Taibbi tweeted.

He said that the information that Baker was reviewing the “Twitter files” surprised the new management where Twitter chief Musk promptly removed the FBI official on 6 December.

The reporters acquiring the shady details of the previous Twitter management have “resumed searches through Twitter Files material – a lot of it – today. The next instalment of ‘The Twitter Files’ will appear” via Weiss, Taibbi wrote, concluding his thread with the message, “Stay tuned.”

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