Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, said Tuesday it is suing to get FBI files related to the suppression of The New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop stories that link President Joe Biden to his family member’s foreign business deals.
The group filed the lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act in D.C. federal court. It noted cryptic messages between the FBI and Twitter executives around the time of the pre-2020 election censorship.
“San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan ‘[sent] 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, through Teleporter, a one-way communications channel from the FBI to Twitter,’ the evening before the release of the Post story,” noted the group in a statement.
Chan used the special transmission channel to send Roth and a minimum of one other person the documents the night of October 13, 2020, only hours before The Post’s first laptop shockers were published at 5 a.m. on October 14.
Soon after the first report was published, Twitter banned sharing the article by The Post and locked the publication out of its accounts. Twitter cited a “hacked materials” policy despite the lack of evidence that the materials were gathered in a cyberattack. Facebook also limited the dispersion of the story pending further “fact-checking.”
Lawsuit seeks documents regarding the federal government’s role in censorship
The lawsuit by Judicial Watch seeks documents on the federal government’s role in other censorship decisions and those concerning The Post. It asks for “[a]ll records of communication between any official or employee of the FBI and any officer or employee of Meta, Twitter, or any other social media company regarding the laptop reportedly used by Hunter Biden, any news media reporting regarding the laptop and/or its contents, and/or the provenance of any information contained in any such reporting.”
The case additionally seeks “[a]ll alerts, notifications, advisories, foreign threat indicators, or similar records provided by any official or employee of the FBI to any officer or employee of Meta (formerly Facebook), Twitter, or any other social media company regarding the threat of disinformation disseminated by foreign actors related to any U.S. election.”
The first bombshell revealed by The Post was that Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, emailed Hunter in 2015 to thank him for giving him the “opportunity to meet your father,” which directly contradicts President Biden’s 2019 claim that he’d “never spoken” with his son Hunter about “his overseas business dealings.”
The younger Biden was reportedly paid $1 million per year to serve on the board of Burisma at the time when his then-vice president’s father led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
During the campaign, Biden vaguely denied the meeting, saying, “[W]e have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from that time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” However, Hunter later said the laptop “certainly” could be his, and other outlets, including the New York Times, CBS News, and Washington Post, verified the authenticity belatedly last year.
Emails and photos published by The Post indicate that President Biden attended a D.C. dinner in 2015 with a group of his son’s associates, including Pozharskyi, a day before the email was sent. The younger Biden invited Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Baturina is the wealthiest woman in Russia, and a 2020 report from GOP-led Senate committees alleges that in 2014 she paid $3.5 million to a company associated with Hunter Biden.
Another bombshell in October 2020 from The Post described communications about Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim Biden’s ventures in business with the company CEFC China Energy. An email recovered from the laptop, dated May 13, 2017, said the “big guy” would receive 10% of the deal. The Washington Post reported later that Jim and Hunter Biden received $4.8 million from CEFC.
Tony Bobulinski, the former business partner of Hunter Biden, alleges he met with Joe Biden to discuss the CEFC business venture on May 2, 2017, and that the elder Biden was the “big guy.” The email’s author, James Gilliar, additionally identified Joe Biden as the “big guy” in a communication retrieved from Hunter’s laptop.
Additional reporting has linked President Joe Biden to his family’s goal of pursuing business opportunities in other countries, including Kazakhstan and Mexico, and described the younger Biden as being close to classified documents located at his father’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. Hunter Biden even listed the president’s home as his residence on a 2018 background check form.
Robert Hur, the special counsel, is investigating President Biden’s handling of classified records that date before his presidency. The probe could expand to investigate the younger Biden’s role in the saga. Hunter Biden is already under investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware for possible illegal foreign lobbying, tax fraud, lying about his drug use on a gun-purchase form, and money laundering.