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Jim Jordan continues censorship investigation

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) issued a flurry of subpoenas to the Justice Department, the FBI, and Citibank in his censorship investigation.

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Jim Jordan continues censorship investigation

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has raised the stakes in what appears to be his own investigation into government censorship. Over the past twenty-four hours his Committee and Subcommittee have issued a flurry of subpoenas on the subject. The targets: the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Citibank.

Jim Jordan on the warpath

Jim Jordan is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and of its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. According to Fox News and The Washington Examiner, the Judiciary Committee issued two subpoenas to the DOJ and the FBI. Those subpoenas ask for documents relating to the collusion, by the Department and the Bureau, with various social media platforms for the purpose of censoring Americans’ public discourse through “moderation, suppression, or removal of content.” The two agencies have until September 15 to produce the documents.

Later that day, the Weaponization Subcommittee issued a subpoena to Citibank, asking for documents showing the sharing of bank depositors’ private financial information with the FBI.

In his cover letters accompanying the subpoenas, Jim Jordan reminded FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland that he asked for this information before – in April. All he got for his pains was a transcription of the deposition of FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan. Agent Chan gave that deposition in the case of Missouri v. Biden, which recently saw oral argument on an interlocutory appeal. According to Jordan, his Committees have evidence showing that Chan has lied about his contacts with social media platforms. More than that, Jim Jordan reviewed the recent history of Missouri v. Biden, including the Big Injunction that is now the focus of an appeal.

In closing, Jordan said in effect, “We’ve asked you nicely; you didn’t cooperate; so now, here is our subpoena.”


The Citibank angle

Citibank is one of several banks now suspected of sharing private transactional and other financial data from depositors and/or credit card holders with the FBI, this although the persons involved have no “individualized nexus” with financial or other kinds of crime. Apparently the Citibank General Counsel told the Weaponization Subcommittee that only a subpoena would dislodge the information the Subcommittee sought. So Jim Jordan said, in effect, “OK, fine, here it is.”

The social media platforms with the worst reputation for cooperating in censorship are Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and X Corp. X Corp. inherits the nasty reputation of Twitter, particularly when Parag Agrawal ran it. Alphabet (Google, YouTube) has a similar reputation, and YouTube is notorious for the complexity of its Community Guidelines. Spotify and Amazon also have a reputation for removing content for political reasons.

In sharp contrast, Gab Social and its congeners have never cooperated in censorship or data sharing. This has forced them to:

  • Build their own infrastructure, from the ground up, including everything but an Internet Service Provider,
  • Employ a business model more dependent on lifetime pass and other subscription fees than on advertising, and
  • Resign themselves to having users from some countries access them only through Virtual Private Networks.

So far, Jim Jordan has not issued any subpoenas to Meta, Alphabet, X, Spotify, or Amazon.

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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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