The FBI Is Investigating A Huffington Post Editor Over A Joke He Tweeted About Destroying Trump Ballots
The United States’ prime federal law enforcement agency has directed its efforts in investigating a Huffington Post journalist for a joke he tweeted about “destroying Trump ballots” at a Washington D.C. voting site.
On Oct. 31, 2016, Nick Baumann tweeted the below:
After the tweet picked up steam on the internets, Baumann took to twitter to clarify that his tweet was a “joking reference” to a conspiracy theory of a dude who claimed to do the exact same thing days before.
Despite the utter absurdity of a high-level journalist committing a felony by destroying ballots and then tweeting about it, Baumann received a call from someone who said he was an FBI agent, beginning an investigation. Another means of closing this case would be for the FBI to use its resources to contact the D.C. Board of Elections to verify that Baumann was never a poll worker to begin with, but who the fuck am I to tell someone how to do their job. I can hardly do mine.
Says Baumann in a piece he published today:
On Nov. 4, I received a call from someone who said he was an FBI agent and wanted to speak to me. I figured it was a prank. I get a lot of hate emails and angry voicemails, and I dismissed the insane possibility that the FBI would investigate an obvious joke on Twitter. I would’ve called back anyway, just to be sure. But it was right before the election, and I forgot about it.
Then, on Monday, a month later, I received a followup message. It was the same person. It turns out he really is a special agent in the Washington Field Office of the FBI.
“Sorry to bother you,” he said. “The reason I’m calling is — I can’t give you too many details over the phone — we recently received some complaints regarding some online postings that were made. I don’t know if you know what that’s in reference to, but would you be willing to sit down with us for a couple minutes tomorrow morning by chance?”
I couldn’t believe it and started to say so. But he continued, “I know this may sound ridiculous, but when we receive complaints we have to follow them up no matter what.”
That’s not strictly true, and I knew it: The FBI, like other law enforcement agencies, decides what it should investigate. It doesn’t have to respond to every complaint. “Um, wow,” I said. “To get this straight, you guys are investigating complaints about a tweet that I sent?”
“That’s the gist of it, yes, sir,” he replied.
On one hand I respect the FBI’s diligence in investigating any and all threats they are made aware of, but on the other, I’d venture to guess that manpower can be directed elsewhere.
[h/t Huffington Post]