Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) suggested House Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed to prove Twitter executives had nefarious intent to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The contents of Biden’s laptop were made public before the 2020 election. It showed the now-president’s son doing drugs, as well as lewd images. Twitter censored the story on its platform before the election, fearing it may be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
During a hearing on Wednesday, Jordan grilled former Twitter’s former Global Head of Trust & Safety, Yoel Roth about an email sent to him by an FBI agent in 2020 regarding documents regarding “malign interference. Roth told Jordan this term covered “things like Russian troll farms and Iranian involvement in the elections.”
As was reported in the “Twitter files,” Twitter executives convened multiple times with the FBI ahead of the 2020 election over concerns about foreign interference in the upcoming presidential election. At the time, the FBI suggested the laptop story may be a Russian disinformation scheme, but that turned out not to be the case.
Jordan asked Roth if the information he received was classified, and also asked other witnesses if they knew how many people at the company had security clearances.
JORDAN: Any of the information on there classified?
ROTH: No, I don’t hold a security clearance. And so, I would not have received any classified information.
JORDAN: Who were the people at Twitter who had a security clearance?
ROTH: To be honest, sir. I’m not sure. And we never ultimately followed through on this plan to get temporary clearances.
JORDAN: Did anyone at Twitter have a security clearance?
ROTH: It’s my understanding that at least some current or former employees did hold clearances, but I wasn’t certain about that.
JORDAN: Ms. Gadde, do you know if anyone took up [FBI Special Agent Elvis] Chan’s offer to hand out security clearances 30 days before the 2020 election?
GADDE: Not that I’m aware.
JORDAN: So, we don’t know how many people had security clear clearances at Twitter. Do we know? Mr. Baker? Ms. Gadde? Anyone know how many people at Twitter had a security clearance in the 30 days prior to the election?
BAKER: I don’t know the answer to that question.
JORDAN: Ms. Gadde.
GADDE: I do not know.
JORDAN: Mr. Roth, you don’t know?
ROTH: No sir.
JORDAN: How about the last one, Ms. Navaroli, do you know?
Jordan punctuated his questioning by claiming, “It seemed like they were handing them out like candy. I wonder who had them. No one knows.”
He told Roth Twitter “got played” by the government.
“I think you guys got played,” Jordan said. I think you guys wanted it to be taken down.”
After Jordan finished questioning Roth, Jordan yielded to Connolly.
“My, my, my,” he began. “What happens when you hold a hearing and you can’t prove your point?”
Rep. James Comer (R-KY), who chairs the Oversight Committee, said in November that investigating the Biden laptop story and Twitter’s handling of it would be the committee’s main priority.
Connolly went on to cite testimony indicating that then-President Trump’s White House contacted Twitter to demand the company take down a tweet from Chrissy Teigen calling Trump a “pussy ass bitch.”
Watch above via C-SPAN.
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