Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to new Disinformation Governance Board leader Nina Jankowicz asking her to provide testimony regarding her new role within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The letter was signed by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a ranking member of the committee, along with 11 additional GOP House Judiciary Committee members.
“This Board is un-American, anti-democratic, and a dangerous escalation of the Biden Administration’s embrace of government-endorsed censorship,” the GOP leaders wrote to Jankowicz.
“In addition, judging from your past statements, Americans can not and should not trust you with your newfound authority to act as the Biden Administration’s arbiter of the truth,” the letter added.
#BREAKING: Judiciary Republicans seek testimony from Nina Jankowicz on the newly established so-called "Disinformation Governance Board." pic.twitter.com/letSY3ya08
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 5, 2022
The committee strongly spoke against the formation of the new board, claiming there should not be a government group limiting the free speech rights of Americans.
“The ability of Americans to engage in robust debate and conversation is the foundation of American politics, and there is no place for a de facto ministry of truth in our government. The very idea of a ministry of truth should be revolting to all Americans who hold our Bill of Rights in high regard,” the letter said.
The letter requested that Jankowicz provide all documents and communications relating to the creation of the board by May 19, including interactions between the board and social media companies.
In addition to concerns about the new disinformation governing board, Republican leaders have expressed problems with Jankowicz as the leader of the new group, especially regarding some of her own past social media videos and statements.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted during a Wednesday hearing that he was “not aware” of the videos posted on social media by Jankowicz.
Mayorkas made the concerning statement in response to questions from a Senate Appropriations subcommittee about the board and the decision to appoint Jankowicz to lead it.
KENNEDY: "When the department picked [Nina Jankowicz], was the department aware of her Tik Tok videos? They're really quite precocious."
MAYORKAS: "I was not aware of those videos." pic.twitter.com/eBgbwDMpok
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 4, 2022
“When the department picked [Nina Jankowicz], was the department aware of her Tik Tok videos? They’re really quite precocious,” Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked, referencing now-viral videos of Jankowicz singing about disinformation to the tune of the “Mary Poppins” song, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
“I was not aware of those videos,” Mayorkas replied.
Some GOP leaders are also seeking to defund the new Disinformation Governance Board before it begins.
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton introduced a bill on Tuesday that would ban federal funding from being used to launch the new DHS board.
Cotton was joined in the legislation with support from a team of 18 co-sponsors among the Senate’s Republicans.
“The Biden administration wants a government agency dedicated to cracking down on what its subjects can say, an idea popular with Orwellian governments everywhere. This board is unconstitutional and un-American—my bill puts a stop to it,” Cotton said in a statement.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley also took a strong position against the new board in a Twitter post on Monday.
“Congress must act now to abolish this censorship board and prevent any future President who doesn’t believe in the Constitution from ever trying it again,” he wrote.
Too late. Congress must act now to abolish this censorship board and prevent any future President who doesn’t believe in the Constitution from ever trying it again https://t.co/nLhZbKyzpe
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 2, 2022