OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 1:29 PM PT – Thursday, March 9, 2023
The House Judiciary Select Subcommittee held a hearing on “The Twitter Files” on Thursday.
In her opening statement, Delegate Stacey Plaskett, the Democrat who represents the United States Virgin Islands and is also a ranking member of the committee, attacked Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger. In her opening statement Plaskett called Taibbi and Shellenberger who had been called to testify before the committee “so-called journalists.”
Taibbi replied in his opening statement, his accolades which he has garnered throughout his career. The journalist went on to describe his experience as he was forced into his role as one of the primary disseminators of information regarding The Twitter Files.
He went on to also describe the information he had been given to review and release to the public. The decision to release the information to the public was made by Elon Musk, who had previously purchased Twitter, as part of his campaign to restore true free speech to the platform.
Taibbi concluded his opening statement by saying that “free speech is the best defense against the ‘Censorship-Industrial Complex.’ If there’s anything The Twitter Files show, it’s that we’re in danger of losing this most precious right, without which all other democratic rights are impossible.”
Plaskett went on to claim that Taibbi and Shellenberger “pose a direct threat to people who oppose them.”
Plaskett also said that the hearing was “unacceptable,” along with Tucker Carlson having access to the January 6th footage.
Representative Sylvia R. Garcia (D-Texas.) had went on to question Taibbi about the timeline of events of when his source had first contacted him.
“You earlier said that someone had sent you through the internet, some message about whether or not you would be interested in some information,” Garcia said.
“Yes, and I referred to that person as a source,” Taibbi shot back.
“So you’re not going to tell us when Musk first approached you?” Garcia asked him.
“Again, congresswoman, you’re asking a journalist to reveal a source,” Taibbi said.
Garcia went on to ask him if he considered Musk to be his direct source, to which Taibbi said he cannot reply. The Democrat was then accused by Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of badgering the journalist by repeatedly asking him to reveal his source.
This interaction led to an argument between the committee members, with Jordan slamming the Democrats for pressuring him to reveal his source which he said was a violation of the First Amendment.
As Garcia’s time was expiring she made her last accusation asking whether the two reporters were getting paid to testify before the committee. This was met with denial from the journalists and disbelief from Jordan.
The two reporters who testified in the hearing were responsible for the release of The Twitter Files to the public, following Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
The Twitter Files are a set of internal documents which revealed the relationship between the social media platform under Jack Dorsey’s leadership with different organizations, and government entities.