‘Coincidence of Coincidences’: DHS Deployed State Dept. to Censorship Group Day of Hunter Biden Bombshell

April 12th, 2024 5:12 PM

A watchdog group obtained internal records showing federal agencies collaborating with private partners to crush online free speech before the 2020 election.

Protect the Public’s Trust, a government watchdog, obtained never-before-seen emails that expose the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advising the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) on censorship collusion with Big Tech companies. Notably, one email came the same day as a bombshell New York Post report on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. MRC Free Speech America has reviewed the emails, which were initially reported by the Washington Examiner.

The researchers of the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) had worked with DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) before the 2020 election and DHS recommended them to another major federal agency for censorship purposes.

Both EIP and CISA representatives have tried to “downplay” their partnership and anti-free speech work amidst GOP Congressional scrutiny, the Examiner explained. However, the newly discovered emails appear to suggest a close working relationship.

Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain raised the alarm about the implications of such emails in an exclusive interview with MRC Free Speech America. “The more people dig into the Censorship Industrial Complex, the more federal agencies’ denials, disavowals, and defenses crumble. Agencies and offices that claim to never have been involved have left fingerprints all over the records we find.”

EIP involved GEC, the University of Washington and the Stanford Internet Observatory. The new documentation comes soon after a 60 Minutes segment featured University of Washington researcher Kate Starbird claiming government and private entities had not colluded to pressure Big Tech into censoring content. The emails directly contradict Starbird’s claims.

In his remarks to MRC, Chamberlain added, “Called out, they proclaim their efforts never focused on the speech of American citizens, yet there is overlap and evidence of close coordination between agencies involved in domestic matters and those involved in foreign policy, even helping each other make contacts and connections.” 

In the unearthed emails, GEC reached out to EIP. “Our colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security/CISA recommended we talk to you about your current efforts to protect the 2020 elections from foreign interference,” then-GEC academic Adela Levis reportedly wrote in Oct. 2020. “There may be some synergies there with the work we’re doing. Warm regards, Adela.”

The reply specifically highlighted Starbird’s leadership and government agencies’ anti-free speech “efforts.” GEC ended by being involved in the process of flagging content for social media to censor, the Washington Examiner reported. “EIP Team, I want to send my sincerest thanks for allowing me to participate in the Election Integrity Partnership as an analyst with the GEC,” enthused State Department employee William Beebe in December 2020.

The same day GEC started working toward election interfering censorship, the New York Post story “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad” was published, the Examiner reported. MRC poll data previously illustrated that censorship of Hunter Biden scandals swayed the 2020 election in Joe Biden’s favor.

Emphasizing the election interference, Chamberlain told MRC: “Coincidence of coincidences, a State Department agency attempted to connect on the very day the Hunter Biden laptop story broke, one of the most egregious examples of a story being improperly dismissed and censored as ‘foreign disinformation.’”

MRC Free Speech America Assistant Editor Luis Cornelio contributed to this report.

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