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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Judicial Watch Sues for Records on FBI Payments Referenced in ‘Twitter Files’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of any payments made by the FBI to Twitter (now known as X) (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:23-cv-03004)). The payments were disclosed in internal Twitter documents (the “Twitter Files”) made available by Elon Musk to journalists.

In a December 19, 2022, report on “Twitter Files,” independent journalist Michael Shellenberger reveals an email which states the FBI paid Twitter nearly $3.5 million of U.S. taxpayer money as “reimbursement for the time spent processing requests from the FBI” from October 2019 to February 2021.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the FBI failed to respond adequately to a December 24, 2022, FOIA request for:

All records documenting any payments made to Twitter, Inc. and/or any employee thereof by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This request includes, but is not limited to, all related purchase orders, expense requests and approvals, and similar records.

All contracts or similar records documenting the purpose or basis of any payment described in part one of this request.

In a January 30, 2023 letter, the FBI claimed that it could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of records responsive to your request pursuant to FOIA Exemption (b)(7)(E),” which refers to investigation techniques.

In his December 19, 2022, report, Shellenberger reveals an email dated February 10, 2021, in which an unidentified Twitter employee tells then-Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker and then-General Counsel Sean Edgett that “we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!”

The email explains that Twitter’s Safety, Content & Law Enforcement (SCALE) division instituted a “reimbursement program” in exchange for devoting staff hours to “processing requests from the FBI.”

Baker and Edgett were fired after Elon Musk bought the social media platform in October 2022. (Prior to joining Twitter, Baker had been the FBI’s top lawyer under James Comey.)

“The notorious relationship between the FBI and Twitter includes millions in taxpayer cash,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Justice Department’s and FBI’s cover-up of this collusion show they have something to hide.”

Judicial Watch has produced a four-part documentary, “Censored and Controlled,” that details the coordinated effort by the FBI and other government agencies and Big Tech to censor and suppress information on topics such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, COVID-19, and election debates.

Judicial Watch has been in the forefront of uncovering government efforts to censor free speech and suppress opposition to its unconstitutional actions, including the U.S. Government’s dissemination of its own disinformation.

Recently, Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for records concerning censorship of social media users.

In April 2023, Judicial Watch filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for communications between the agencies and Facebook and Twitter regarding the government’s involvement in content moderation and censorship on the social media platforms.

In June 2023, Judicial Watch sued DHS for all records of communications tied to the Election Integrity Partnership. Based on representations from the EIP (see here and here), the federal government, social media companies, the EIP, the Center for Internet Security (a non-profit organization funded partly by DHS and the Defense Department) and numerous other leftist groups communicated privately via the Jira software platform developed by Atlassian.

In February 2023, Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Department Homeland Security (DHS) for records showing cooperation between the Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) and social media platforms to censor and suppress free speech.

Judicial Watch in January 2023 sued the DOJ for records of communications between the FBI and social media sites regarding foreign influence in elections, as well as the Hunter Biden laptop story.

In September 2022, Judicial Watch sued the Secretary of State of the State of California for having YouTube censor a Judicial Watch election integrity video.

In May 2022, YouTube censored a Judicial Watch video about Biden corruption and election integrity issues in the 2020 election. The video, titled “Impeach? Biden Corruption Threatens National Security,” was falsely determined to be “election misinformation” and removed by YouTube, and Judicial Watch’s YouTube account was suspended for a week. The video featured an interview of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. Judicial Watch continues to post its video content on its Rumble channel (https://rumble.com/vz7aof-fitton-impeach-biden-corruption-threatens-national-security.html).

In July 2021, Judicial Watch uncovered records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that Facebook coordinated closely with the CDC to control the COVID narrative and “misinformation” and that over $3.5 million in free advertising given to the CDC by social media companies.

In May 2021, Judicial Watch revealed documents showing that Iowa state officials pressured social media companies Twitter and Facebook to censor posts about the 2020 election.

In April 2021, Judicial Watch published documents revealing how California state officials pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube)) to censor posts about the 2020 election.

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