FEC says Twitter acted legally in blocking Hunter Biden laptop stories, pointing to claim of intel warnings about hacking

The Federal Elections Commission said on Wednesday its members unanimously rejected complaints from the Republican National Committee and others that Twitter’s decision to block the sharing of links to articles from the New York Post related to Hunter Biden’s laptop constituted an illegal contribution to now-President Joe Biden’s candidacy.

In announcing the decision, the FEC pointed to Twitter’s assertion that part of the reason it stopped the spread of the New York Post articles in October was over concerns that foreign actors obtained the salacious materials through hacking. The social media giant claimed the U.S. Intelligence Community was warning about such an effort in the lead-up to the 2020 election. No evidence has emerged that the Hunter Biden laptop story stemmed from a foreign hacking operation.

The FEC said there was a 6-0 vote in finding “no reason to believe” that Twitter violated the law “by making corporate in-kind contributions” and “no reason to believe” that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey or Brandon Borrman, who was Twitter vice president of global communications, broke the law.

In response to reporting on the decision published on Monday, RNC spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said the group was “weighing its options for appealing this disappointing decision from the FEC.”

An October complaint  from the RNC alleged: “Through its ad hoc, partisan oppression of media critical of Biden, [Twitter] is making illegal, corporate in-kind contributions as it provides unheard-of media services for Joe Biden’s campaign.” The RNC argued at the time that Twitter was “doing so for the clear purpose of supporting the Biden campaign.”

Robert Kelner, a lawyer who had represented retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn before Sidney Powell took over his representation, helped represent Twitter in the FEC complaint, writing in December that “Twitter undertook, for bona fide commercial reasons” actions to block potentially hacked content.

A lengthy statement from Yoel Roth, head of site integrity for Twitter, was included in Kelner’s response.

“Since 2018, I have…