DHS ‘Has Not Told the Truth’ About Efforts to Censor Political Speech, Alleges Sen. Hawley Citing Internal Documents

Rita Li
By Rita Li
December 1, 2022Politicsshare

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Nov. 30 said newly obtained internal documents further contradict congressional testimony by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the Disinformation Governance Board, and reveals that the board had a “much deeper” association with big tech companies.

Hawley, in a press release, said that documents turned over by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—six months after the initially requested—contained what he called “shocking new details.”

The over 200 pages of heavily-redated internal emails showed the Board’s Steering Group met as early as Feb. 4, 2022, catching up on a weekly basis, according to Hawley, despite Mayorkas testifying to the contrary.

“On May 4, 2022, in response to my questioning, you testified, ‘The board has not yet met,’” the senator wrote to Mayorkas in a Wednesday letter. “That was untrue.”

“It is clear based on the latest documents you have finally turned over that the Department still has not told the truth about its continuing efforts to censor political speech,” Hawley wrote.

In April, DHS announced the establishment of the Disinformation Board and the appointment of its leader Nina Jankowicz. The department later terminated the board after widespread concern that it would be weaponized against dissenting voices and become a tool for government censorship.

Citing findings from the latest records, Hawley said in the letter that shortly after she was onboard, Jankowiczr had requested “a copy of the last 2-3 steering group meeting agendas.”

“Despite your assertions to the contrary,” the senator further stated, “the board appeared to have operational authorities: Ms. Jankowicz indicated it was the responsibility of Disinformation Board members to ‘ensure that their respective components implement, execute, and follow Board decisions.’”

Big Tech

While whistleblower documents had previously revealed that DHS had sought to work with Twitter to censor content, Hawley said the new records revealed that more tech companies were involved.

“DHS’s collusion with Big Tech went much deeper than we knew,” he said in a Wednesday Twitter post.

Whistleblower documents in June revealed that Mayorkas and his team sought a collaboration with social media outlet Twitter to censor content unapproved by the board and planned a meeting with its executives to discuss such a joint effort. The meeting was scheduled for April 28, according to the leaked documents, and would include Twitter head of global public policy Nick Pickles and head of site security Yoel Roth.

The new records showed that the board planned to meet with Nathaniel Gleicher of Meta, who led the company’s security policy when Facebook suppressed New York Post’s October 2020 reports relating to a laptop allegedly abandoned by Hunter Biden.

The documents also show the board also had contacts with the Omidyar Network, which Hawley in his letter described as “a liberal dark money group which has poured millions into combatting ‘misinformation.'”

The records further mention that Jankowicz had repeatedly pushed for DHS to establish an “analytic exchange” with “industry partners,” which Hawley said was “possibly a portal for Big Tech companies to coordinate speech suppression with the government.”

Hawley concluded the letter by calling on the secretary to release “full, unredacted” copies of all previously produced documents to Congress.

A DHS spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

From The Epoch Times

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