Fighting for the truth: Louisiana AG asks court to compel DOJ to create communications between Biden officials and Big Tech
Published 10:21 am Thursday 1 September 2022
BATON ROUGE, LA — Yesterday, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a joint statement on investigative disputes, asking a federal court in the Western District of Louisiana to compel the Justice Department to stop the communications between high-level officials in the Biden administration from the White House, the State Department, the FBI and others, as well as major social media companies.
The filing comes as a result of a landmark lawsuit the two states filed in May. In July, the court ordered the Biden administration to share communications between federal officials and social media companies. The Justice Department has already turned over communications between a number of federal officials and social media companies, but has declined to provide communications between senior officials and social media companies.
“When the federal government works with big tech to censor speech, the American people become subjects rather than citizens,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “The USDOJ must not hide behind the veil of executive privilege, especially when there is already compelling evidence that the popular government has colluded with these social media companies to suppress their right to free speech.”
“Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit back in May seeking to expose how senior Biden administration officials allegedly colluded with social media companies to censor freedom of speech on a range of issues, including COVID-19 . We won in court in July, and the court ordered the Biden administration to share communications between federal officials and social media companies,” Attorney General Schmitt said. “We have already received a number of documents that clearly show that the federal government has an incestuous relationship with social media companies and is clearly coordinating to censor free speech, but we’re not done yet. The Justice Department cowers behind executive branch privilege and has refused to share communications between senior officials in the Biden administration and social media companies. So yesterday we petitioned the court to compel the Justice Department to produce these records. We’re just getting started – stay tuned.”
The notices, which the Department of Justice has already sent to the plaintiff states, show a vast “censorship operation” across multiple federal agencies. In response to the discovery, the defendants identified 45 federal officials at DHS, CISA, CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General (all included in either DHS or HHS) who communicate with social media platforms about “misinformation.” and censorship. The joint statement said, “But in those responses, the defendants have not provided information about other federal officials at other federal agencies who they know to engage in such communications with social media platforms about misinformation and censorship.” Defendants’ filing, however, revealed that such officials exist at other federal agencies — for example, they contain extensive copies of officials from the Census Bureau, and they also contain notices suggesting that the Treasury Department and State Department may also be involved. ”
Beyond the Justice Department’s production, “Meta has identified that 32 federal officials — including senior officials from the FDA, the U.S. Electoral Assistance Commission, and the White House — have communicated with Meta about moderation of content on its platforms, many of whom have not disclosed the response.” to the questionnaires sent by the plaintiffs to the defendants. YouTube disclosed an additional 11 officials, including Census Bureau and White House officials, many of whom were also not disclosed by the defendants.”
“The discovery provided so far demonstrates that this censorship enterprise is extremely broad, including officials in the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General,” the joint statement continued. “And obviously other agencies like the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the US Electoral Assistance Commission. And it reaches the highest levels of the US government, including numerous White House officials. The defendants have objected to the production of some of the most relevant and conclusive information in their possession.”
This “censorship enterprise” is evidenced by the Justice Department’s productions so far, but the full extent of federal officials’ collusion with social media companies to censorship is unknown until the Justice Department produces additional notices requested by Louisiana and Missouri.
A senior Facebook official emailed the Surgeon General and said: “I know our teams met today to better understand the extent to which the White House is looking to us in relation to future misinformation.” .” This email chain follows the SG’s July 2021 “Misinformation Health Advisory”: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/
The same senior official later emailed HHS and noted, “Thank you again for taking the time to meet earlier today.” The official then went on to discuss how Facebook is taking even more steps to protect freedom of speech to censor: https://ago.mo.gov/
Twitter has scheduled a meeting to quiz senior White House officials about “vaccination misinformation”: https://ago.
There are several instances where Facebook would not censor freedom of speech on its platform until they had input or a “debunking” from the CDC. Twitter followed the same course in at least one email.
• Example 1: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/
• Example 2: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/
• Twitter example: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/
The CDC also proposed a monthly debunking meeting with Facebook to help them censor free speech as well (https://ago.mo.gov/docs/
A White House official was even concerned about the Fauci account spoof and coordinated with FB to remove it: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/