Following a constitutionally-inappropriate and inaccurate letter by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, I am publishing a copy of the text of a letter I have sent in rebuke, regarding that committee’s spiteful and discriminatory actions.
Dear Chairwoman Maloney:
As a veteran who upheld his oath honorably, I am deeply concerned about recent statements your committee (House Committee on Oversight and Reform) made in a February 8th letter regarding the social media platform Parler. My concerns, which are legitimate, substantial, and provable, center on the dangerous attack on free speech explicitly implied by your actions.
First, your letter states, in part, “Since the attacks, numerous Parler users have been arrested and charged for their roles, with the Department of Justice citing in several instances the threats that individuals made through Parler in the days leading up to and following the attack.” Chairwoman Maloney, it would be helpful for the American citizens to understand your committee’s definition of “numerous” and “several,” considering that the instances you mention account for less than 5% of the total instances that reference Facebook during the January 6th riots, and less than 3% of all instances of that day. To this point, your committee has refused to open any investigation into the role of Facebook (or any other social medium) in the incident.
Your committee continues to call for an FBI investigation into Parler, when in fact more than 120 investigations into January 6th have already been conducted — with criminal charges being brought. The Department of Justice has made the details of every investigation public, and I have read through each of them in their entirety. I am astounded that your committee is either unaware of these reports, or has chosen to willfully disregard them in favor of an overtly partisan attack on the free speech of those you consider to be your political objectors.
If you were to have a broader focus on the role of all social mediums during the riots, your actions would seem legitimate and even gain bipartisan favor. However, you have chosen to ignore the most egregious of communications surrounding January 6th, as outlined in hundreds of pages of DOJ affidavits or statements of facts, to have been prolifically transacted on alternative platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. In more than 50% of the DOJ reports, offenders are confirmed to have used Facebook and/or Instagram to communicate their intentions or concurrent actions regarding their involvement in the riots.
As of today, there are less than a dozen reports that mention Parler, while there are more than six-dozen that cite Facebook and/or Instagram as purveyors of communications before, during, and/or after the riots, by the individuals since apprehended for those crimes. These are facts, as provided by the FBI and DOJ.
Furthermore, your letter also states, in part, “In addition, Parler reportedly allowed Russian disinformation to flourish on its platform prior to the November 2020 election, facilitating Russia’s campaign to sow chaos in the American electorate. Although similar disinformation was removed by other social media platforms, it was allowed to remain on Parler.” While nobody supports foreign interference in our electoral process, the committee’s statement is not only a supposition that offers no proof to substantiate it, it also alludes to a subjective intent to censor speech that has been proven to be constitutionally-protected as recent as 2014. In Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, Judge Timothy Black explicitly stated, “We do not want the government deciding what is political truth — for fear that the government might persecute those who criticize it. Instead, in a democracy, the voters should decide.”
Chairwoman Maloney, the Constitution we both swore to uphold is a sacred document that is clear in both its context and intentions to guard citizens against the precise tyrannical actions you and your committee are taking. Your committee’s actions are unfairly focused, inconsistent with the rule of law, and a waste of taxpayer resources. Behaving above the law seems to have become a common theme among members of Congress who continuously pontificate that “no one is above the law.”
It is precisely those actions that have divided and polarized this nation, and continue to cultivate a society of distrust, frustration, and a having a chronic lack of confidence in our lawmakers.
All members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; Speaker of the House; House Minority Leader; Rep. Bryan Steil; Tucker Carlson; Greg Kelly; Dan Bongino.