The decade's most triggering comedy
In a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee Tuesday, Hawley took to task the nominee, Dr. Colleen Shogan, over tweets she wrote blasting Republican politicians and COVID policies. Shogan locked her Twitter account when she was nominated to lead the National Archives and Records Administration, but Hawley obtained several of her posts anyway. Exasperated after she repeatedly refused to answer for her statements, Hawley blasted Shogan for stonewalling.
“I asked you to provide the public posts that had previously been available on Twitter because the ones that we have were pretty disturbing,” Hawley began. “You responded as follows, and I quote, ‘My personal Twitter account is comprised of posts about my mystery novels, events at the White House Historical Association, Pittsburgh sports teams, travels and my dog.’ Is this an accurate statement?”
First, Hawley called out a post Shogan made in February 2022 complaining about the fact that mask mandates had been lifted for children under the age of five. He then asked if such an overtly political statement was characteristic of her Twitter feed. “My social media is in my personal capacity,” Shogan responded.
“Answer my question, please, because you’ve testified under oath that you only posted about your dog, and sports teams and novels, and you also said you wouldn’t give this committee any of your public posts,” Hawley fired back. But Shogan again refused to own up to the posts. Hawley pressed her again. “You are under oath before this committee, and I have to say, you have placed this issue squarely in record by repeatedly refusing to answer,” he said.
Next Hawley pointed out a post that Shogan retweeted calling for an assault weapons ban. He also pointed to a Twitter post she made in 2021 in which she said that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz “ought to stay in his lane and not worry about what’s going on in Pittsburgh,” apparently in reference to investigations into the 2020 election. He then pointed to a post from December 2020 wishing that former President Trump would have his vetoes overridden and calling him a “weak policy president.” He also pointed to another post on January 5, 2021, claiming Trump would pardon himself for trying to overturn the election.
In another post Hawley pointed out, Shogan replied to a user complaining about religious flags on the grounds of the Library of Congress, and gave advice on how to complain and have the posts taken down. In every case, Shogan simply averted her eyes and repeated that her Twitter account was in her personal capacity.
An exasperated Hawley finally gave up. “I have to say, I have been here for four years in the Senate,” he said. “I have never seen a witness stonewall like this before. Never. And I’ve seen a lot. This is extraordinary. … I mean, this is unbelievable, and you want to be the archivist of the United States. You lied to us under oath, you lied to us in your [Questions for the Record], you just lied to me a second ago under oath, and now you’re sitting here stonewalling, not answering questions about public posts that you’ve made.”
“Mr. Chairman, I have to tell you, this is the most extraordinary thing I have seen in my brief time in the Senate,” Hawley concluded. “I have never seen a witness blatantly lie under oath like Dr. Shogan has just done to this committee, stonewalled this committee, and just repeatedly refused to answer my questions about her own posts that are in public. For these reasons, I will oppose your nomination and I strongly, strongly urge this committee to take action on this and force this witness to own up to the fact that she is misleading us right now before our eyes.”