House Judiciary Committee Republicans Challenge FBI Director’s Testimony on Free Speech
House Judiciary Committee Republicans have called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to revise his testimony regarding the bureau’s stance on free speech. In a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner, the Republicans expressed their concerns that Wray’s testimony contradicted a recent court ruling that found evidence of “substantial censorship” by the FBI.
“Your testimony conflicts with the findings of the federal court in Missouri v. Biden, which specifically noted that the FBI flagged domestic speech as potential disinformation and that the FBI ‘significant[ly] encourage[d]’ social media platforms to take certain actions with respect to content,”
During a regular oversight hearing before the committee, Wray denied allegations that the FBI pressured social media companies to censor or suppress content. He emphasized that the bureau’s focus was on foreign hostile actors interfering with social media content.
“At the end of the day, we [the FBI] are very clear that it’s up to the social media companies to do something or not,” Wray stated.
The Republicans pointed to Judge Terry A. Doughty’s ruling, which highlighted instances where the FBI flagged “domestic disinformation” for social media companies leading up to the 2020 election. The ruling also suggested that the FBI may have misled social media platforms into suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, falsely believing it to be Russian disinformation.
The lawmakers provided copies of emails they had obtained, including one where an FBI agent asked Facebook to confirm the removal of certain accounts. This evidence, along with the court ruling, led the Republicans to question Wray’s testimony.
“This discrepancy between your testimony and the information we have obtained leads us to conclude that either you misled the Committee about the FBI’s interactions with social media companies or that you were not fully aware of the egregious and unconstitutional actions of the FBI you administer,”
The Republicans urged Wray to amend his testimony, which is currently documented in the congressional record. This request comes shortly after Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan warned Wray about potential contempt charges if he fails to comply with multiple subpoenas.
The Washington Examiner has reached out to the FBI for comment.
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