Sen. Rand Paul Grills FBI Director Wray on Gov Big Tech Collusion

November 1st, 2023 2:46 PM

FBI Director Christopher Wray denied that the bureau discussed censoring constitutionally protected speech in a tense hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were grilled by the fired-up Senate committee on Tuesday. During the hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) asked each of them whether their agencies had ever discussed with social media companies about censoring constitutionally protected speech. Wray repeatedly refused to acknowledge any potential collusion between the federal government and social media platforms to censor free speech despite the ever-growing mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Paul did not beat around the bush in his questioning. The Kentucky senator asked Wray whether he would “repeat under oath that there was never any discussion of the FBI to take down constitutionally protected speech.” Paul added, “You think it’s all national security, child pornography, sex trafficking [and] no discussion of [moderating] constitutionally protected speech.” The senator further noted the seriousness of Wray offering an accurate answer. He continued,“[T]his is all going to come out. A lot of it is already in depositions. But you’re saying that there was never any discussion by any of your agents in any of these meetings of constitutionally-protected speech being taken down?”

Wray responded claiming, “To my knowledge, our agents conducted themselves in compliance with the law throughout.”

But as MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider pointed out, actions speak louder than empty words. For too long senior leadership at the FBI have interpreted the law to suit their left-wing political agenda. Simply saying that they are in compliance with the law doesn’t make it so,” Schneider said. “The reality is obvious to everyone who isn’t an apologist for the regime. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies and intelligence officials have used their power to silence conservatives and others who believe in basic American principles. They have been put on notice; the day of reckoning is coming.”

Paul’s questioning continued. When asked whether the FBI is “still meeting with social media companies,” Wray admitted that while yes they are “having some interaction with social media all of those interactions have changed fundamentally in the wake of the court’s rules.” [Emphasis added].

Earlier in the hearing Paul pointed to the Missouri v. Biden case and the court’s injunction ruling prohibiting the FBI from violating the First Amendment and pushing social media companies to censor constitutionally protected speech. Wray’s comments however beg the question: If the FBI was not doing anything illegal in the first place, why did an injunction simply enforcing existing law “fundamentally change” its interactions with social media companies.”

Paul alluded to the question calling Wray’s answer “sort of an acknowledgment that perhaps you weren’t just talking about national security, child pornography and human trafficking.” He added, “You had other areas of discussion [about content moderation] that did involve constitutionally protected speech.”

Wray denied Paul’s assertion claiming that the “fundamental” change in behavior was simply out of “an abundance of caution in order to make sure that we don’t run afoul of any court ruling.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the CensorTrack contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.