On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) revealed new documents that appear to challenge DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas May testimony regarding the controversial Disinformation Governance Board.
Hawley wrote an open letter to Mayorkas stating that the Board’s plans for a partnership with Big Tech are “far greater” than DHS and the Biden administration have previously admitted.
Hawley and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) published documents that were obtained earlier in the year by a whistleblower. They detailed the Board’s scope.
Hawley stated that the new documents prove that the Board’s Steering Group met on February 4, 2022, and are meeting every week, despite Mayorkas’ testimony of May 4, 2022, that “the board has yet not met”.
Hawley stated that the new documents also reveal that Big Tech was more involved in censorship activities than previously believed.
Hawley claims that new records reveal that the Disinformation Board intended to meet Nathaniel Gleicher, Meta’s head of security policy, during the suppression by The New York Post of Hunter Biden’s laptop story.
Hawley also revealed that Nina Jankowicz was the Board’s temporary Executive Director. This could have been to allow Big Tech companies to coordinate speech suppression with the government.
Mayorkas was notified by Hawley that “[Y]ou have maintained your blatant effort to avoid transparency” and “The documents you turned over to me six months ago after I asked are so heavily redacted that most of them are illegible.”
Hawley asked that Mayorkas turn over all documents to Congress, as well as records relevant to his previous oversight requests. Hawley stated that he would release all documents in his possession as a result of his investigation into the Board.
After the Board was placed on “pause” by DHS in May, DHS canceled plans for it in August. Mayorkas announced the creation of the Board in April during testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
Mayorkas stated that “the goal is to bring together the resources of (DHS), to address this threat.” He also said that the department would focus on disinformation spreading in minority communities before the 2022 midterm elections.
Later, it was reported that Nina Jankowicz would be the Board’s executive director. She had previously been a Wilson Center disinformation fellow. Jankowicz quit her job after less than one month in the position. She was recently registered as an agent for foreign countries.