Twitter’s top ranks were riddled with former FBI agents and executives, drawing the company even closer to the federal agency now under fire for relying on Twitter to meddle in the 2020 election.
More than a dozen former federal officials flocked to the company in the months and years leading up to Elon Musk’s October purchase of the social network.
The Post noted that the FBI’s influence was far more significant than just James Baker, the former FBI General Counsel, who went on to work for Twitter in the same role. He was recently fired by Musk for interfering with the billionaire’s efforts to investigate past wrongdoing at the company.
In some cases, the former G men and women held positions that would have brought them close to corporate leadership directly involved in censoring the Post’s October 2020 Hunter Biden coverage.
Matthew Williams spent more than 15 years with the FBI, working primarily out of Seattle, most recently as an intelligence program manager and senior intelligence oversight analyst.
Williams joined Twitter in June 2020 — the same month as Baker — as “senior director of product trust,” according to his LinkedIn. In June 2022, he moved to a more expansive position as “Senior Director of Product Trust, Revenue Policy, Counsel Systems & Analytics at Twitter.” He noted that this made him “Co-Lead of Trust & Safety”.
Twitter employees were notoriously liberal prior to Musk’s acquisition, with 99% of employee campaign donations going to Democratic candidates. Williams gave small but consistent amounts to Democrats who ran for federal office during his years with the company, Federal Election Commission records show.
Dawn Burton, a former federal prosecutor who served as deputy chief of staff to FBI Chief James Comey, joined Twitter in September 2019 as director of strategy and operations and advisory organization, according to LinkedIn and Bloomberg.
As a Comey insider, Burton would have been close to the agency’s email probe into Hillary Clinton, as well as the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. She remained in her role after Comey’s fall in May 2017 and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
She also donated to the Democrats. Burton left Twitter in July before Musk’s takeover and now works at Google.
Jeff Carlton worked for the FBI, CIA and as an intelligence officer for the US Marines before joining Twitter in May 2021. His now-deleted LinkedIn account says he “led Twitter’s Strategic Response Team of 50+ staff/agents in High Profile Trust Dissolution & Security Escalation” designed to promote “healthy public conversations.” In November 2021, he donated $100 to California Democratic House candidate Will Rollins.
Twitter’s Trust and Safety team was led by Yoel Roth, the now-disgraced former corporate censor and one of the architects of the platform’s far-reaching shadow-banning efforts. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Roth has had regular meetings with the FBI, which he joked about, according to a plethora of internal filings recently released by Musk.
“I was told at these meetings that the intelligence community expects people associated with political campaigns to be hacked and that material obtained through these hacks is likely to be shared via social media platforms, including Twitter , is being disseminated,” Roth said in a Dec 21, 2020, statement to the Federal Elections Commission. “I also learned at these meetings that there were rumors that a hack and leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”
Critics slammed the unholy alliance between Twitter and the FBI.
“A direct connection between former FBI officials and current FBI officials is part of the value the old regime bought from Twitter,” said Jim Hanson, president of WorldStrat, an information warfare analytics and consulting firm. “They wanted that access and that air support, and the FBI was willing to do some of the normal things they’re supposed to do — like look out for crime and terrorism — but also use Twitter as a vehicle to air dissent on the issue.” to silence and attack political opponents.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who will take over the House Judiciary Committee next year, has promised a full probe into the FBI’s politicization that will include censoring Big Tech and suppressing The Post’s reporting of Hunter Biden.
“I have concerns as to whether the government ran a misinformation operation against We the People. We want to try to get to the bottom of Baker, but also of all the other FBI people who did it [at Twitter] is also an issue and we need to look at that,” Jordan told The Post.
Kevin Michelena was a intelligence analyst with the FBI for more than 12 years before joining Twitter in July 2021 to work as a “Senior Corporate Security Analyst.”
According to his LinkedIN, his responsibilities included “partnering with software engineering to develop and optimize security products” and “working with public policies and website integrity leaders to ensure policies are properly implemented, which identified risk to users.” reduced threat actors”. , which has since been heavily edited.
Michael Bertrand spent 23 years with the FBI, working in counterterrorism, internal investigations and as chief of staff for the agency’s top management. He joined Twitter in January.
Bertrand, an attorney, was responsible for “leading proactively and reactively[ing] Teams to assess and respond to global incidents and crises that impact Twitter employees, offices and reputation,” according to his LinkedIN.
Karen Walsh spent more than 20 years with the FBI as a special agent specializing in public-private sector outreach. She joined Twitter in March 2020 as Director of Corporate Resilience.
Doug Hunt joined Twitter as “Senior Director” after 20 years with the FBI as a Supervisor Special Agent. Vincent Lucero also served in the same capacity for more than two decades before joining Twitter as “Senior Security Manager” in July 2019.
Mark Jaroszewski became director of corporate security in August 2018 after serving two decades as a supervisor special agent at the FBI. In a 2018 FBI press release, the agency noted that its mission “is focused on helping the FBI build strategic, mutually beneficial relationships with the private sector.” He also began donating to Democrats after joining Twitter.