US Democrats threaten Twitter Files journalist with arrest

Matt Taibbi, left, with Michael Shellenberger, testifies before House Select Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Lazy eyes listen


According to journalist Lee Fang, Democratic lawmaker Stacey Plaskett has threatened Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi with perjury charges.

During his testimony before Congress last month, Plaskett allegedly accused the independent journalist of purposefully misrepresenting the connection between the social media giant and various US government organizations.

Fang, who obtained and published a copy of the letter from the Virgin Islands representative, noted that Plaskett’s allegations were largely based on claims made by MSNBC host Mehdi Hassan during a recent confrontational interview between Hassan and Taibbi – accusations Fang had already debunked in a recent piece published on his Substack blog.

Plaskett’s claim that Taibbi purposefully mixed up CISA (the Homeland Security subsidiary, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) and CIS (the Center for Internet Security) in order to portray an unconstitutionally cozy relationship between the Department of Homeland Security and Twitter was based on a single tweet, which Taibbi deleted after realizing his mistake and was unrelated to his March 9 testimony before the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

That comment, as Taibbi pointed out to GrayZone journalist Aaron Maté on Friday, was just one of many well-documented connections between DHS, its contractors (like CIS and the Election Integrity Partnership), and Twitter, and the Twitter Files eventually revealed the platform was working with both CIS and CISA in the same way.

Plaskett, who referred to Taibbi as a “so-called journalist” and accused him of posing a threat to those who disagreed with him during the subcommittee hearing, concluded her letter with seven questions, demanding answers by this past Friday on the penalty of prosecution for perjury, which carries a five-year prison sentence. Taibbi, on the other hand, said he did not even get the communication till the deadline had passed. Fang discovered that the document was co-written by workers for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and former House Judiciary Committee head Jerry Nadler after analyzing it.

Taibbi was the first journalist chosen by Twitter CEO Elon Musk to report on internal correspondence proving the extent of coordination between a dozen US government agencies and the main social media companies to suppress opposition and promote narratives favorable to Washington.

While he was in Washington testifying before Congress, a tax agent paid him a visit and left a message, which Republican lawmakers have condemned as an intimidation tactic by their political opponents.