Republican FEC Member Doesn't Rule Out Bias in Twitter Banning Hunter Biden Laptop Story
The story about Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell" did not initially receive as much media attention as it might have, as Twitter blocked links to related articles, claiming that it believed the story was part of a "Russian disinformation campaign".
Republican Federal Election Commission member Sean Cooksey, along with his five counterparts, unanimously voted to reject the Republican National Committee's complaint against Twitter for blocking the New York Post's article about Hunter Biden's laptop.
The RNC filed its complaint within the FEC in October 2020, claiming that Twitter had breached the campaign finance law when it prevented the laptop story from spreading and made "corporate in-kind contributions to Biden for President".
Cooksey, however, said in his statement that he found no violation of the said law, but also did not rule out the possibility of Twitter being biased in favour of the Biden campaign.
"In my view, the record doesn't establish whether Twitter was consistently enforcing a politically neutral business policy or using its platform to support one candidate over another. But I also think the answer to that question is ultimately irrelevant", Cooksey stated, noting that Twitter is "a publisher with a First Amendment right to control the content on its platform and to favour or disfavour certain speech and speakers".
According to Cooksey's fellow Republican Commissioners Allen Dickerson and James Trainor, Twitter's possible bias was not relevant
to the matter as long as it never actively encouraged "Americans to vote one way or another".
Originally, the story of the so-called "laptop from hell" emerged in the New York Post, with the report suggesting that the son of the future US president was trying to set up a meeting between a Ukrainian energy firm executive and Joe Biden.
However, despite a massive outcry among Republicans
, who immediately blasted the Biden family after the findings, the New York Post was not able to widely share the story due to Twitter preventing it. The social media platform did not allow sharing links to the report, claiming that it violated its rules related to the sharing of "hacking" materials. At the time, the tech giant said that it had made a "quick interpretation" and decided that the article was part of a "Russian disinformation campaign".
"Upon further consideration, we admitted this action was wrong and corrected it within 24 hours", Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained.
Twitter's actions, however, were condemned by conservatives as attempts at censorship and a display of political bias.
'Laptop From Hell'
The notorious laptop was allegedly forgotten by Hunter Biden in a repair shop in 2019. It was reportedly full of evidence of the Biden family's shady foreign business deals, along with videos of him having sex and using drugs, multiple provocative e-mails, and many personal documents.
In particular, one of the emails allegedly revealed Hunter trying to make an appointment between his father and Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, in 2015, just a year after Hunter assumed a position on the company's board. Later, the allegations around Burisma prompted Trump's first impeachment in 2019, with Democrats accusing him of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter and his father.
Due to its bombshell contents, Hunter Biden's device was immediately labelled the "laptop from hell", with Donald Trump actively discussing it during his 2020 presidential campaign, accusing Biden of being "owned" by China and involved in corrupt schemes.
Joe Biden, however, dismissed the allegations against his son as a "smear against his family" promoted by Trump's "henchmen" such as his attorney Rudi Giuliani.