Democrats, led by Virgin Islands delegate Stacey Plaskett, are threatening independent journalist Matt Taibbi with prison time for his role in “Twitter Files” reporting, alleging — falsely — that he committed perjury.
Last month, Plaskett and other Democrats attacked Taibbi and colleague Michael Shellenberger, who exposed collusion between federal law enforcement agencies and Twitter in suppressing conservative views and voices.
Plaskett and her team on the House Weaponization Subcommittee defended the practice of censorship by the government, and even attacked the basic business model of journalism, used by outlets of all viewpoints.
Last week, as investigative journalist Lee Fang reported Thursday, Plaskett wrote to Taibbi, accusing him of committing perjury by claiming Twitter had worked with the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Plaskett cited a segment on the Mehdi Hasan Show on MSNBC, during which the host accused Taibbi of altering the acronym “CIS” to “CIS[A],” a claim Taibbi said may have been an error. Fang notes: “Taibbi has admitted mistaking CIS for CISA in a single tweet in one of his many threads, but his testimony to Congress was entirely different. Hasan deceptively conflated this quickly corrected tweet with Taibbi’s testimony.”
Plaskett cited Hasan’s erroneous fact-check in accusing Taibbi of committing perjury — which, she noted, it punishable by five years’ imprisonment. As fellow independent journalist Glenn Greenwald noted, that was a more direct threat to freedom of the press than any insult President Donald Trump hurled at the media.
Absolute barn burner episode of @ggreenwald‘s System Update tonight https://t.co/08lz9V1xF4
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) April 21, 2023
During the March hearing, Plaskett also attempted to bully Taibbi into revealing his sources — then denied doing so.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.