DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas’ previous testimony about his department’s planned Disinformation Government Board are “completely contradicted” by newly-obtained DHS documents, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told a Senate hearing on Thursday.
“We see that, in fact, this Disinformation Board, from the beginning, was meant to track and go after political speech that this administration did not favor,” Sen. Hawley said, discussing the contents of DHS documents he says he obtained from “a patriotic whistleblower.”
Mayorkas had previously testified that he had no knowledge of any documents relating to the Disinformation Governance Board and that the board would have no actual authority and would not focus on the domestic speech of Americans. The Board has, reportedly, been put on hold to public backlash, but the DHS is continuing its mission.
“As we look through the documents, you see that what the secretary told the committee about the Disinformation Board’s operation is just not true,” Sen. Hawley told the hearing – noting that Sec. Mayorkas had actually signed one of the documents he denied having knowledge of:
He repeatedly told this committee that the Disinformation Board would be just a working group. Just a working group.
That’s not what the documents say. There is a charter, a proposed charter – that the secretary himself signed, personally – on February 24, 2022, that described the disinformation board as having the authority to set up guidelines.
In fact, Hawley said, the charter Mayorkas signed gives the Board substantial authority to “counter” the speech of people who raise questions issues such as COVID and election integrity, Hawley said:
It has governance authority over how the department will classify what is ‘disinformation,’ over what the response to disinformation should be, over who is doing what in terms of ‘countering’ disinformation – which, remember, includes questions about COVID, or questions about election integrity or questions about masks.
The idea that this is just a working group is, frankly, completely contradicted by the documents that the whistleblower turned over to us – and that the secretary, himself, signed.
“For the secretary to sit in that chair and tell me that he is not aware of any documents related to the Disinformation Board – when he has signed charters, when he has personally reviewed memoranda dating back months – is misleading, at best,” Hawley said.
The documents also reveal “a Big Tech-Administration alliance” to track the speech of Americans who use social media, Hawley said:
There is also information in these documents about attempted coordination, planned coordination, by the Disinformation Board with the Big Tech monopolies.
There are meeting notes here, proposed plans of action for members of the Disinformation Board, members of the administration, to meet with Big Tech executives to discuss sharing information about disinformation and tracking analytics of American citizens who are using the Big Tech companies’ platforms and engaging in so-called “misinformation.”
This is a Big Tech-Administration alliance to track speech. It’s here in the documents.
At the end his remarks, Sen. Hawley had the purported DHS documents he obtained read into the record, without objection.
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Editor's Note: This piece was originally published on CNSNews.com