BUCK: As promised, Miranda Devine with us now. New York Post columnist, author of Laptop from Hell, and Fox News contributor. She has a great piece up. FBI warned Twitter during weekly meetings of Hunter Biden ‘hack-and-leak operation’ before censoring The New York Post. Miranda, appreciate you coming back.
DEVINE: Great to be with you guys.
BUCK: So, this is a big deal. And on you lay it out in detail in your piece at The New York Post. But, just walk everybody through this and the evidence we have that the FBI was telling the big tech companies that basically get ready for…their coming with some kind of a leak operation. How would they know this?
DEVINE: Well, we have that information from a sworn declaration by a guy called Yoel Roth, who is a former top executive at Twitter. And he said that in the weekly meetings that the FBI was having with Twitter before the 2020 election, they warned Twitter to expect a dump, a hack-and-leak operation, hacked material, involving probably Hunter Biden, likely in October. And they said this was an operation by, quote, state actors, which is really kind of intel speak for Russians. So, in other words, Twitter was told a Russian disinformation operation, hacked material involving Hunter Biden in October. And what happens in October? The New York Post publishes our story on October 14, 2020, basically with the Hunter Biden laptop story that’s detrimental to Joe Biden’s candidacy and it’s just three weeks before the election.
CLAY: All right, Miranda, this, I’ve been saying, makes Watergate look like jaywalking when you put all these pieces together. So, do we know who at the FBI was facilitating or encouraging or ordering or demanding, whatever verb you want to use there, these briefings to be given to Twitter? Because I just want to tie this in, and this is where we started. The FBI clearly knew that big tech was sympathetic to Joe Biden’s campaign, that they wanted Joe Biden to win.
They also — you can correct me if I’m wrong on any of this — my understanding is they also had Rudy Giuliani under surveillance. So, they knew that he was talking to reporters, including yourself, other newspapers, to try to get this story written. We also, to my knowledge, the FBI was already in possession of the Hunter Biden laptop at this point, meaning they should have known that it was not some elaborate Russian disinfo fake. Because when you look at all the information on that laptop, it’s pretty clear that it would be impossible to fake. Is all of that true? Kind of use that information also to build on what you just answered for Buck.
DEVINE: Yes. 100% correct, Clay. The FBI knew that our story was legitimate. They knew that the laptop was legitimate because they had had it in their possession since December 2019, almost a year. And they also had done a lot of investigation of John Paul Mac Isaac, who was the computer repair guy who had given them the laptop and that he…it was his store that Hunter Biden had abandoned his laptop at in Delaware in April 2019. So, he had hung onto it. He’d looked at it. He was concerned about national security issues he saw, particularly to do with Ukraine and China. He thought, I have to get this to the FBI.
When he gave it to the FBI, they sort of were very strange. And they warned him that people who keep their mouths shut don’t run into any trouble. Then after about eight months, he got concerned and he thought, nobody is doing anything about this. I’m going to start contacting Republican members of Congress. No one answers any of his emails. The first person to answer him was Rudy Giuliani, October sorry, August 24th of 2020. And that was at the time that the FBI was spying on Rudy Giuliani’s cloud. They had a surveillance, covert surveillance warrant into Rudy Giuliani for alleged FARA violations, which they just dropped about a month ago. They were completely baseless.
But they were spying on him on his cloud for two years without his knowledge, from about a month after he started working as then President Trump’s personal lawyer. So, they had access to all his emails and messages in 2020, including that one on August 24 I mentioned where John Paul Mac Isaac reached out with a very detailed email saying what he had seen, what concerned him, and he included some attachments and screenshots from the laptop. So, the FBI should have known exactly what he had. They knew he was legit because they had interviewed him and investigated him. They had the laptop so they knew what was on it.
Not only that, they had had a five-hour interview with Tony Bobulinski coming up just before the election. So, before the election, the FBI knew that our story was legit. They knew John Paul Mac Isaac was legit. They knew the laptop was legit. And still they continued with this lie that it was Russian disinformation. This was a Russian hack-and-leak operation, which effectively says that the laptop has been hacked, Hunter Biden’s laptop has been hacked by Russians, and then the material is being leaked to, you know, terrible news organizations like ours that don’t check their material.
And therefore, it’s just Russian disinformation and we at the New York Post are stooges. That’s what the FBI was telling Twitter and we believe, Facebook, as well. And also, they would have had access to my messages with Rudy Giuliani in October of 2020, which would have, talking about when the post was publishing and what was going on, what we were going to publish. So, the FBI was pretty well worded up about when the material was coming out, where it was going to be coming out and what was in it.
CLAY: Miranda, we know how high up it would have to have gone at the FBI to be having these briefings at Twitter and Facebook, spreading, frankly, clear lies that they knew were lies? And I think that’s important. Do we know who ordered this? Where? You know, for lack of a better term, everybody knows the code red. I mean, this feels like it was a code red that was ordered by the FBI. Who ordered it?
DEVINE: Yeah, that I don’t know. You know, it would have been normal for Christopher Wray, the director, to have teams going out and warning people about Russian disinformation or, you know, malign state actors trying to interfere with the election. I doubt whether he knew that they were seeding or pre-bunking the New York Post story. Maybe he did. I don’t know. But what we do know, we know the name of the special agent, Elvis Chan in San Francisco who coordinated these weekly meetings in Silicon Valley with, you know, Facebook, Twitter, Google.
And there were six or seven FBI agents who were flying out every week from Washington, D.C. for those meetings. And the reason we know that is because Elvis Chan was just deposed on Tuesday as part of this lawsuit that’s been brought against the Biden administration by the Republican attorneys general of both Missouri and Louisiana. And Eric Schmitt, now senator-elect, has been driving that case. And it’s just fascinating, the material that got out of it about collusion between big tech and the federal government in violation of the First Amendment.
BUCK: Miranda, I want to ask and make sure that I’m getting this right. It sounds like there were, what I would call deep state elements within the FBI. We know there were many of them. Some of the names are familiar to us now, but many of them over the lies about Russia-Trump collusion, who stayed in the FBI and then in the next election thought that it was their job to somehow stop Russia collusion again. I mean, basically, were they true believers in this or were they just using this as a pretextual scam to help Joe Biden win?
DEVINE: I don’t really know their motivations. But yes, I mean, ultimately, they were helping Joe Biden win and were determined that Donald Trump would not win. Chief among those is a man called James Baker. He was the general counsel, as in the top lawyer at the FBI and was deeply involved in all that Russia collusion scam and everything from the Alpha Bank. You know, Michael Flynn and the Steele Dossier, Crossfire Hurricane, etc. He also was involved, I believe, in the investigation into the DNC hack back in 2016, supposedly done by Russians. The jury’s still out on that.
Now, interestingly, James Baker, then just five months before the 2020 election, just happened to turn up at Twitter and he became Twitter’s and I believe still is, Jeffrey, deputy general counsel. And so, he was the FBI’s man inside Twitter deciding what, you know, what subpoenas were going to be accepted when the FBI, for instance, wanted to access Twitter accounts of people who might be uncomfortable for Joe Biden, such as we’ve just found out from a Daily Caller story, Tara Reade, the woman who alleged that Joe Biden many years ago had sexually assaulted her. She came out before the 2020 election. And we now know that the FBI subpoenaed Twitter for her account, all the details, including presumably the names of reporters who were direct messaging her and interested in her story. So, that was going on before the election as well. And James Baker’s presence inside Twitter was very useful to the Democratic Party and to the FBI.
CLAY: Miranda, we know you’re busy. I’ve said before, you deserve like nine or ten Pulitzer Prizes in a row, along with your colleagues at the Post for what you have done on this story. The document release on Friday. Last question for you. What, if anything, did you get info that you needed or wanted out of that? How would you assess what you saw on Friday?
DEVINE: Look, I thought it was interesting and particularly there was an email. Unfortunately, the date and time was stripped off it. But Matt Taibbi, the journalist who was tasked by Elon Musk to release all that information, had this one email from James Baker in which he weighed in on the decision on the morning of the 14th of October 2020, when our story came out, that internal discussion in Twitter about whether or not to censor it. And he came down on the side of censoring it and he said, “You know, we don’t know if it’s hacked material and we should err on the side of caution.”
CLAY: Yeah, it’s crazy, particularly because that hacked material policy, they never applied in general. (Unintelligible) Yeah. You have killed it. Thank you so much for making time for us.
DEVINE: Thanks so much.