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Tipsheet

Only One Democrat Was Concerned With Ethical Issues Regarding Twitter's Suppression of Hunter Biden Story

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

After the bombshell release of how Twitter suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story, it was revealed that only one Democrat was concerned about how it infringed upon America’s First Amendment rights. 

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Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif) reportedly emailed Vijaya Gadde, former general counsel and head of legal, policy, and trust at Twitter, saying that Twitter’s policies didn’t align with what they were doing. 

Rolling Stone contributing editor, Matt Taibbi, posted a thread of tweets, which Elon Musk called “The Twitter Files,” noting the email Gadde received, but ultimately ignored.

“Democratic congressman Ro Khanna reaches out to Gadde to gently suggest she hop on the phone to talk about the ‘backlash re speech,’” Taibbi tweeted. “Khanna was the only Democratic official I could find in the files who expressed concern.”

In the October 14, 2020 email, Khanna wrote “generating huge backlash on hill re speech… happy to chat if you're up for it.”

In response, Gadde told Khanna that Twitter released a series of tweets clarifying the social media platform’s policy regarding posting private information on “hacked materials.” 

However, per screenshots of the emails, Khanna appeared to be more concerned with the First Amendment being suppressed rather than the Biden story itself, even as a “Biden partisan.”  

"I say this as a total Biden partisan and convinced he didn't do anything wrong," Khanna wrote. "But the story has become more about censorship than relatively innocuous emails and it's becoming a bigger deal than it would have been." 

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Putting the Biden laptop story aside, Khanna noted that ethically journalists have the right to publish information. 

“If there is a hack of classified information or other information that could expose a serious war crime and the NYT (New York Times) was to publish it, I think the NYT should have that right… a journalist should not be held accountable for the illegal actions of the source unless they actively aided the hack,” Khanna said, adding “so to restrict the distribution of that material, especially regarding a Presidential candidate, seems not in the keeping of the principles of NYT v. Sullivan.”

The Democrat was referring to the 1964 Supreme Court case that limits the ability of public officials to sue for defamation.

After the Twitter thread commenced, Musk tweeted that “Ro Khanna is great.” 

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