Democrat Rep. Threatens Independent Journalist Matt Taibbi With Jail Time Over ‘Twitter Files’ Testimony
The Daily Wire

Virgin Islands Democrat Rep. Stacey Plaskett threatened independent journalist Matt Taibbi with up to five years of prison for an alleged perjury charge over his “Twitter Files” testimony in front of Congress last month, citing an error in a tweet that he has since deleted.

“While these inaccuracies may seem minor to you, they could lead Congress to rely on inaccurate testimony in considering and/or passing new legislation which would impact all Americans,” Plaskett said in her letter to Taibbi.

Taibbi testified in a hearing on March 9 held by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), whose subcommittee on the weaponization of government is looking into the Federal Trade Commission’s treatment of Twitter. Plaskett, a non-voting member of the House and the panel’s ranking member, pressed Taibbi and author Michael Schellenberger about how they vetted internal Twitter emails and instant messages, which revealed how the social media platform allegedly worked with government agencies, including the FBI, to suppress conservatives on the platform.

During the hearing, Taibbi told Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) that he and Schellenberger witnessed in the Twitter Files that Twitter executives did not distinguish between specific government agencies, including the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP).

“For instance, we would see a communication that said, From CISA escalated by EIP,” Taibbi said. “So they were essentially identical in the eyes of the company. … So, yes, we have come to the realization that this bright line that we imagine that exists between, say, the FBI or the DHS or the GEC and these private companies is illusory and that what’s more important is this constellation of kind of quasi-private organizations that do this work.”

Plaskett accused Taibbi of misleading the public and members of Congress for a specific tweet the independent journalist posted the morning of the hearing, which alleged that the EIP worked with the CISA to ask social media companies to eliminate millions of tweets of so-called disinformation on their platforms.

The tweet Plaskett referenced shows an error from Taibbi, where he mistakenly used an incorrect acronym involving two groups accused of relaying information to Twitter about content moderation. Instead of writing “CISA,” referring to the federal government’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, Taibbi used “CIS,” which is short for the non-profit group Center for Internet Security.

Plaskett said that Taibbi contradicted his response in an April 6 televised interview with Mehdi Hasan on MSNBC, who attempted to raise inconsistencies or errors from Taibbi by referencing his tweet, which added a parenthetical [A] to the acronym “CIS.”


Taibbi acknowledged the error during his interview with MSNBC, saying he had “gotten one thing wrong or a few things wrong.”

“When presented with this misinformation, you acknowledged that you had made ‘an error’ by intentionally altering the acronym CIS and you subsequently deleted your erroneous tweet,” Plaskett said.

Plaskett further called Taibbi’s reporting on the Twitter Files “rife with numerous other false and misleading claims,” which included an inaccurate total of tweets labeled as disinformation from the EIP, omitting pertinent dates about taxpayer-funded organizations that flagged tweets as disinformation, and that the EIP was founded in response to the government pausing the operations of the Disinformation Governance Board.

“These instances raise serious questions about other potential inaccuracies in the testimony provided to Congress,” Plaskett said in a news release.

Although it appears Taibbi conceded he unknowingly made a mistake without intentionally trying to mislead the committee, Plaskett writes in her letter to the witness that he understood “[k]knowingly providing material false information to this committee/subcommittee, or knowingly concealing material information from this committee/subcommittee, is a crime . . . up to five years imprisonment.”

In her attempt to prove that the federal government isn’t weaponized against Americans in the committee hearing, Plaskett sent a letter to Taibbi threatening jail time for misspeaking about the subject.

Plaskett said Taibbi could have an opportunity to correct the hearing record to ensure accuracy in a congressional hearing by answering a series of questions by April 21.

Taibbi said in a tweet on Tuesday that he would “have to weigh in on this eventually, since the controversy revolves around a serious (but grossly incorrect) accusation leveled at me.”

The Daily Wire contacted Taibbi for comment, but has not received a response.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Democrat Rep. Threatens Independent Journalist Matt Taibbi With Jail Time Over ‘Twitter Files’ Testimony