Missouri AG Eric Schmitt reports at his website: Missouri and Louisiana Attorneys General Ask Court to Compel Department of Justice to Produce Communications Between Top Officials and Social Media Companies. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.
“We have already received a number of documents that clearly prove that the federal government has an incestuous relationship with social media companies and clearly coordinate to censor freedom of speech, but we’re not done. The Department of Justice is cowering behind executive privilege and has refused to turn over communications between the highest-ranking Biden Administration officials and social media companies. That’s why, yesterday, we asked the Court to compel the Department of Justice to produce those records. We’re just getting started – stay tuned.”
The communications already provided by the Department of Justice to the plaintiff states show, as the joint statement points out, a vast “Censorship Enterprise” across a multitude of federal agencies. In response to Missouri and Louisiana’s interrogatories, defendants identified 45 federal officials at DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General (all of which are contained in either DHS or HHS) that communicate with social media platforms about “misinformation” and censorship. The joint statement points out, “But in those responses, Defendants did not provide information about any federal officials at other federal agencies of whom they are aware who engage in such communications with social-media platforms about misinformation and censorship, though Plaintiffs had specifically asked for this highly relevant information. Defendants’ document production, however, reveals that such officials at other federal agencies exist—for example, their emails include extensive copying of officials at the Census Bureau, and they also include communications involving the Departments of Treasury and State.”
Beyond the Department of Justice’s production, “Meta, for example, has disclosed that at least 32 federal officials—including senior officials at the FDA, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the White House—have communicated with Meta about content moderation on its platforms, many of whom were not disclosed in response to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories to Defendants. YouTube disclosed eleven federal officials engaged in such communications, including officials at the Census Bureau and the White House, many of whom were also not disclosed by Defendants.”
The joint statement continues, “The discovery provided so far demonstrates that this Censorship Enterprise is extremely broad, including officials in the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General; and evidently other agencies as well, such as the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. And it rises to the highest levels of the U.S. Government, including numerous White House officials. Defendants have objected to producing some of the most relevant and probative information in their possession.”
This “Censorship Enterprise” is proven by the Department of Justice’s productions thus far, but the full extent of federal officials’ collusion with social media companies on censorship is unknown until the Department of Justice produces further communications requested by Missouri and Louisiana.
Summary from Townhall:
Here’s some of the smoking-gun communications proving the Biden administration was actively working with big tech companies to stifle or censor free expression on a range of issues, including an email from Facebook to Biden’s surgeon general about a meeting between the two entities during which White House expectations regarding Facebook’s policies on “misinformation” were discussed.
The litigation process uncovered specific and explicit information about how Facebook was censoring content posted to its platform, apparently at the Biden administration’s request, based on so-called third party fact checkers who are known to be biased and beholden to Democrat interests. Facebook also explained that it was taking strict action to suppress content on its platform labeled as merely “lacking context” as if it were rated to be entirely false.
It wasn’t just Facebook colluding with the Biden administration, either. Twitter scheduled meetings with White House officials to discuss “vaccine misinformation.”
Meanwhile, both Twitter and Facebook emails with Biden administration officials show the two entities colluding directly in a relationship where “claims” flagged by big tech companies would face “debunking” in regular meetings with the CDC’s “experts.” That is, what the Biden administration decided was harmful “misinformation” would then presumably be squashed by big tech companies at the expense of free speech on their platforms.
In addition to speech related to COVID, the Biden administration pursued a proactive relationship with big tech companies whenever scandal hit, such as the embarrassingly botched rollout of the allegedly discontinued Disinformation Governance Board.
Additional communications showed the White House asking Instagram to remove fake accounts impersonating Dr. Fauci and the Treasury Department’s deputy secretary asking Meta for a meeting “to discuss potential influence operations on social media.”
As Schmitt explained, the documents his litigation with Landry have already uncovered are just the beginning of their probe into what the Biden administration has been doing when it comes to using its position of power to get big tech companies to censor Americans’ speech.