The House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a nearly four-hour hearing today. It turned raucous very early, as Democrats – and one witness – sought to excuse government censorship. Before the hearing adjourned (at 12:42 p.m. EDT), one thing became clear: Republicans and Democrats no longer agree on facts.
Weaponization writ large
The livestream from Rumble went live at 8:49 a.m. EDT by CNAV’s estimate.
Four witnesses came to testify:
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,
- Emma-Jo Morris, reporter for Breitbart News,
- D. John Sauer, Special Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana and current lead counsel in Missouri v. Biden, and
- Maya Wiley, President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
(The source for Ms. Wiley’s name is the Associated Press, through PBS Newshour.)
Except for specific attacks against Mr. Kennedy personally (see below), the questioning and testimony passed predictably. The first three witnesses, and the Republicans, decried the systematic censorship by the government, on COVID-19, vaccines, and the Hunter Biden Laptop. Ms. Wiley and the Democrats extolled the value of control and vetting of information. They did not, however, put forth any standard of truthfulness other than to cite the credentials of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and his associates. Democrats extolled vaccine safety and got off much sarcasm against the positions of Children’s Health Defense about vaccines generally. Republicans disputed some of the Democrats’ representations, and held that no one can ever justify censorship.
Members and witnesses made repeated references to the Missouri case. Ms. Wiley tripped herself up at one point, saying that the injunction by Judge Terry A. Doughty was now “vacated.” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) and others corrected her on that point. In fact, no vacatur has issued yet, but only a temporary administrative stay pending an expedited appeal.
Attacks on Kennedy
Before the hearing, at least two Democratic members, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S.V.I.) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) tried to have Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Speaker of the House, and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the Subcommittee Chairman, disinvite Kennedy. This came after, according to the New York Post,he apparently quoted a study suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 was tailored to:
- Kill or more severely sicken whites and blacks, but to:
- Spare ethnic Chinese and Ashkenazic Jews.
Kennedy later appeared to disavow any agreement with the study or “argument” that he quoted. For example, when Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.), of Ashkenazic Jewish heritage himself and a self-described COVID survivor, asked Kennedy whether he, Goldman, should have to worry about his genetic heritage, Kennedy said no.
But almost without exception, other Democrats on the committee attacked Kennedy repeatedly. They did so over his remarks about the alleged study and his position that COVID vaccines are dangerous and countereffective. In this context the Democratic Members made most of their remarks extolling censorship (though they never called it that). Which does not diminish their attempts to call for continued censorship while questioning other witnesses. (Incredibly, Ms. Wiley denied that censorship was occurring, provoking Rep. Johnson to gasp.)
Kennedy did have one opportunity to shoot back, however. He said neither his father nor his Uncle Jack would represent the Democratic Party today. That Party, he said, has departed from the ideals that President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Sr. (D-N.Y.) upheld in life.
An attempt to remove Kennedy from the room
Once, in fact, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) tried to have Mr. Kennedy removed from the hearing then and there. Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (D-Ga.) tweeted out the exchange.
Wasserman-Schultz actually moved to take the Committee into executive session. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) moved to table that motion. Wasserman-Schultz demanded a roll call – and Rep. Johnson asked,
Is it the custom of this committee to censor viewpoints that we disagree with, from witnesses?
After some more crosstalk, the clerk called the roll. The motion to table passed, 10-8, along Party lines. Several Democrats made spiteful references to “hate speech” and one ironic reference to “Soviet policy” in casting their “no” votes. Rep. Johnson, in casting his “Aye” vote, said, “Yes, against censorship.”
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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