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Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called for the immediate dissolution of the just-announced Disinformation Governance Board in a scathing letter directed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Hawley tweeted screenshots of the letter, dated April 28, on Thursday morning with the following caption: “The Administration that activated the FBI against parents at school board meetings now has created a government Disinformation Board to monitor all Americans’ speech. It’s a disgrace. Joe Biden & Secretary Mayorkas: dissolve this monstrosity immediately.”
The Administration that activated the FBI against parents at school board meetings now has created a government Disinformation Board to monitor all Americans’ speech. It’s a disgrace. Joe Biden & Secretary Mayorkas: dissolve this monstrosity immediately pic.twitter.com/hSnMpREizI
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 28, 2022
“I write with deep concern about the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to create a new Disinformation Governance Board. I confess, I at first thought this announcement was satire. Surely no American Administration would ever use the power of Government to sit in judgment on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens,” Hawley’s letter began. “Sadly, I was mistaken. Rather than protecting our border or the American Homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans’ speech your priority. This new board is almost certainly unconstitutional and should be dissolved immediately.”
Hawley went on to accuse the Biden administration of routinely treating political dissent as though it was disinformation, arguing that it was effectively shutting down legitimate debate that should be protected under the First Amendment.
“The Supreme Court has even gone so far as to say that ‘Under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea.’ The apparent broad mandate of this new government entity to ‘coordinate countering misinformation’ in America undermines the argument that it can even exist consistent with the Constitution,” he continued.
Hawley then pivoted to address the clearly partisan comments of proposed board leader Nina Jankowicz, some of which he outlined in his letter. The senator suggested that her attachment to the initiative did nothing to assuage concerns that the board itself was designed to coordinate attacks against political opposition.
“While Democrats have for years controlled the public square through Big Tech allies, Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has shown just how tenuous that control is. It can only be assumed that the sole purpose of this new Disinformation Governance Board will be to marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech. This is dangerous and un-American,” Hawley concluded. “The board should be immediately dissolved.”
Billionaire Elon Musk also responded to the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board, calling the move “discomforting.”