A week after we learned through one of the “Twitter Files” --- this one released by Elon Musk through independent journalist Michael Shellenberger --- that the ‘Justice’ Department had paid Twitter $3.5 million for work it did for the FBI, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert sponsored a bill called the Exposing Lewd Outlays for Social Networking Companies Act. (She dubbed it the “Elon Act”; guess it was a struggle finding a word that started with “L.” Might we suggest “lavish”?) It calls for a one-year moratorium on payments by the DOJ to Twitter, Meta (Facebook), Google, Microsoft and Apple, and also requires a massive audit of all such payments made to these companies since December 2015.
Congress has now introduced that bill. Boebert didn’t have any bipartisan co-sponsors for it. I’d like to think that’s only because none of them could get the name straight, but we know better. Democrats will stick together on an issue as dear to their tiny hearts as government censorship. It’s key to their whole political strategy.
The multi-million-dollar layout to Twitter was to compensate them for working overtime moderating content (censoring) for the FBI and other government agencies, starting during the 2020 presidential campaign. They spent countless man-hours --- can we still say “man-hours?” --- flagrantly violating the Constitution by regulating our speech, and for that they got paid with our money! We’ve covered this story extensively in the newsletter, but Eric Lendrum at AMERICAN GREATNESS provides a good catch-up.
Congresswoman Boebert said, correctly, that “Big Tech is in bed with the FBI and other agencies to the point where Congress can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.” This, of course, was the case while they were also suppressing the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop and its contents, arguably changing the outcome of the 2020 election. (Tellingly, the $3.42 million payment was for work done between October 2019 and February 2021.) The purpose of her bill is to “expose the incestuous relationship between Big Tech and the federal government.”
The FBI didn’t deny making the payment; in fact, they defended it as “reimbursement” for “reasonable costs and expenses associated with their response to a legal process,” as well as “for complying with legal requests, and a standard procedure.” Well, millions of us, and I would hope at least a majority of Supreme Court justices, would have a big problem with the word “legal” as used here. This was our government engaging in “censorship by proxy,” which is NOT LEGAL.
As Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia said in an interview with JUST THE NEWS, “Who would ever have thought that the FBI would be paying Big Tech companies, you know, for their ‘advice’ or their counsel to the tune of millions upon millions of dollars? What they’re doing is what the government cannot do directly. And that is [what] they are doing by proxy, or censorship by proxy. That is 100 percent a violation of the Constitution.”
So we know Rep. Clyde is on board, and one would hope every House Republican is as well. But, again, even if this bill makes it through Congress, it won’t pass the Senate. Hypothetically, if it did pass the Senate, Biden would veto it. The only question is if he would veto it very quietly or take the opportunity to lecture us about the dangers of “misinformation and disinformation” being spread by violent extremist, semi-fascist, mega-MAGA Republican right-wing conspiracy theorist racist white-supremacist domestic terrorists who are a threat to our democracy. You know, us.
Twitter executives have apologized for censoring information about Hunter’s laptop, but they suppressed so much more than that. As we’ve reported, they were getting deluged with requests from the intel community, a variety of government agencies, and even the White House. Staffers could barely keep up; that’s why they got the extra money.
Still, I have a problem with that one-year moratorium on the DOJ paying social media. Please say you agree that it should be a permanent ban.
Now, here’s a story from the archives about a very different sort of payment from someone in the FBI. As reported in May of 2021 --- the significance is clearer today than it was then --- former federal judge and FBI Director Louis Freeh gave $100,000 to a trust for two of Joe Biden’s grandchildren in April 2016, when Biden was in the last year of his vice presidency and Hunter (Joe's brother Jim, too) was actively pursuing foreign business. Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop showed that Freeh told Joe he sought to pursue some “very good and profitable matters with him.” (The grandchildren’s father, Beau Biden, had died of brain cancer in 2015.)
In a later email, Freeh told Hunter, “I would be delighted to do future work with you. I also spoke to Dad [NOTE: he even referred to Jill and Joe as “Mom” and “Dad”] a few weeks ago and would like to explore with him some future work options. I believe that working together on these (and other legal) matters would be of value, fun and rewarding.”
On April 24, 2017, Freeh wrote to Hunter: “As you know, our family foundation made a $100K contribution to Hallie’s children’s trust fund last year.” But Freeh said his accountants “now advise that since the grant did not go to a 501(c)3 organization, it was not a proper foundation gift” and that he planned to fix the situation by making “a new 100K gift” and having the trust “reimburse the foundation by paying it $100K.”
As the NEW YORK POST reported, “The emails between Freeh and Hunter Biden don’t indicate whether Freeh was ever able to do business with Joe Biden or exactly what he had in mind.” He sure seemed to be actively pursuing it, though. They also show that Hunter referred a client --- “crooked Romanian real estate tycoon” Gabriel ‘Puiu’ Popoviciu --- to Freeh in mid-2016. Hunter never seemed to run out of shady foreign business associates, did he?
The NYPOST has more details on the relationship with Popuviciu. Overall, the story just adds another dimension to the chummy relationships the Bidens had with both crooked businessmen and federal law enforcement officials.