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Twitter’s top ranks were riddled with ex-FBI agents and executives, stitching the company even closer to the federal agency now under fire for leaning on Twitter to meddle in the 2020 elections.

More than a dozen former feds flocked to the company in the months and years prior to Elon Musk’s purchase of the social network in October.

The Post found FBI influence was considerably more significant than just James Baker, the FBI’s former general counsel who later worked in the same role for Twitter. He was recently fired by Musk for interfering in the billionaire’s efforts to come clean about past transgressions at the company.

In some cases, the former G-men and -women held positions that would have put them close to company leadership directly involved in censoring The Post’s Hunter Biden coverage in October 2020.

Jim Baker
Baker was the FBI’s former general counsel who later worked in the same role for Twitter.
Ron Sachs – CNP

Matthew Williams spent more than 15 years with the FBI, working mostly out of Seattle, where he served most recently as an intelligence program manager and senior supervisory intelligence analyst.

Williams joined Twitter in June 2020 — the same month as Baker — as a “senior director of product trust,” according to his LinkedIn. In June 2022 he moved into a more expansive position as “senior director of product trust, revenue policy, counsel systems & analytics at Twitter.” He noted this made him “co-lead of Trust & Safety.”

Twitter staff before the Musk takeover were famously liberal, with 99% of employee campaign donations heading to Democratic candidates. Williams gave small but consistent amounts to Democrats running for federal office during his years at the company, Federal Election Commission records show.

Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams joined Twitter in June 2020 after spending more than 15 years with the FBI.
linkedin

Dawn Burton, a former federal prosecutor who served as deputy chief of staff to FBI boss James Comey, joined Twitter in September 2019 as director of strategy and operations and counsel organization, according to her LinkedIn and Bloomberg.

As a Comey insider, Burton would have been close to the agency’s Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as it’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections She continued to serve in her role after Comey’s ouster in May 2017 and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

screenshot of tweet
A tweet calls on Musk to investigate former FBI agents in Twitter’s ranks

LinkedIn profile
This LinkedIn profile shows the history of an employee who leapt from the FBI to Twitter


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She also donated to 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+ employees/agents in resolving the highest-profile Trust & Safety escalation,” which served 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 lead by Yoel Roth, the now disgraced former company censor and an architect of the platform’s expansive shadow-banning efforts. During the run-up the the 2020 presidential, Roth had regular meetings with the FBI, which he joked about, according to troves of internal communications recently released by Musk.

Yoel Roth
During the run-up the the 2020 presidential, Roth had regular meetings with the FBI.

“I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter,” said Roth in a Dec. 21, 2020, declaration to the Federal Election Commission. “I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”

Critics bashed the unholy alliance between Twitter and the FBI.

“A direct conduit between former FBI people and currently serving FBI people is part of the value Twitter’s old regime was buying,” said Jim Hanson, president of WorldStrat, an information warfare analysis and consulting firm. “They wanted that access, and that air cover and the FBI was willing to do some of the normal things they should do — like watching for crime and terrorism — but also using Twitter as a means of silencing dissent and attacking political opponents.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who will take over the House Judiciary Committee next year, has promised a sweeping probe into the politicization of the FBI, which will include Big Tech’s censorship and suppression of The Post’s Hunter Biden reporting.

Kevin Michelena
Kevin Michelena did more than 12 years as an FBI intelligence analyst before coming to Twitter.
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“I have concerns about whether the government was running a misinformation operation on We the People. We want to try to get to the bottom of Baker, but any other FBI people who were [at Twitter] is also a concern, and this is something we’ve got to look at,” Jordan told The Post.

Kevin Michelena did more than 12 years as an FBI intelligence analyst before coming to Twitter to work as a “Senior Corporate Security Analyst” in July 2021.

Among his responsibilities were to “Partner with Software Engineering to create and optimize security products” and “Collaborate with public policy and site integrity leads to ensure policies are properly implemented, which has mitigated risk to users from identified threat actors,” according to his LinkedIN, which has since been heavily redacted.

Michael Bertrand spent 23 years with the FBI working in counterterrorism, internal investigations and as chief of staff to the agency’s top leaders. He joined Twitter in January.

Bertrand, an attorney, was responsible for “proactively and reactively lead[ing] teams to assess and manage global incidents and crises affecting Twitter’s employees, offices and reputation,” according to his LinkedIN.

Karen Walsh
Karen Walsh spent more than 20 years at the FBI before joining Twitter in March 2020.
linkedin Karen Walsh

Karen Walsh spent more than 20 years at the FBI as a special agent focused on “Public-Private Sector Outreach.” She joined Twitter as director of corporate resilience in March 2020.

Doug Hunt joined Twitter as a “senior director” after spending 20 years with the FBI as a supervisory special agent. Vincent Lucero also did more than two decades in the same role before joining Twitter in July 2019 as a “Senior Security Manager.”

Mark Jaroszewski became a director of corporate security in August 2018 after doing his own two decades as a supervisory special agent with the FBI. In a 2018 FBI press release the agency noted his job was “focused on helping the FBI create strategic, mutually beneficial relationships with the private sector.” He also began donating to Democrats after joining Twitter.

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