Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is demanding that the Biden Administration provide documents related to potential coordination with social media companies to censor opposing viewpoints.
The House Judiciary Committee Chairman wrote a letter on Thursday addressed to White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, requesting all materials and communications from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) that could help them understand the extent of involvement in this alleged censorship.
— House Judiciary GOP 🇺🇸 (@JudiciaryGOP) June 15, 2023
“The Committee’s oversight stems, in part, from the White House’s extraordinary, often successful efforts to suppress core, First Amendment speech. In the words of a senior White House staffer, these efforts originated at ‘the highest (and I mean the highest) levels of the WH,’” the letter reads.
This comment was made in reference to an April 2021 email sent by EOP official Rob Flaherty to YouTube about their COVID vaccine content which accused them of “intensifying people’s [vaccine] hesitancy” and requested more information about what goes into how it works.
This issue has been put under further scrutiny as emails were revealed as part of a lawsuit filed against the Biden Administration by Missouri and Louisiana for supposed COVID-related censorship. The letters also include references to President Biden’s criticism of Facebook for “killing people” as well as former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s remarks at a July 2021 press briefing about how they were working with platforms to monitor content:
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” Psaki said at a July 2021 press briefing.
“In short, there is already extensive evidence that the White House played a unique role in urging and directing social media companies to impose viewpoint-based censorship. Based on this evidence, and in light of the EOP’s unique position within the executive branch, the Committee has good reason to believe that additional material exists in the EOP’s custody and control that would help the Committee to understand the nature and extent of its involvement in this censorship scheme,” the letter asserts.
The House Judiciary is giving the EOP until June 29 to comply with its request voluntarily. “Please be advised that the Committee may be forced to resort to a compulsory process if these requests remain outstanding,” the letter warns.