FBI’s Wray on the grill over censorship ruling: ‘All of those interactions have changed fundamentally’

by WorldTribune Staff, November 1, 2023

Early last month, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s ruling which ordered a preliminary injunction prohibiting federal authorities from coercing and coordinating with online platforms to censor content.

The ruling came in the landmark free speech case Missouri v. Biden.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, and Sen. Rand Paul

During a Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul grilled FBI Director Christopher Wray on whether the bureau has had ongoing contacts with social media companies after the court ruling.

“We’re having some interaction with social media companies,” said Wray. “But, all of those interactions have changed fundamentally in the wake of the court’s ruling.”

“That’s sort of an acknowledgment that perhaps you weren’t just talking about national security, child pornography, and human trafficking, right?” asked Paul. “You had other areas of discussion that did involve Constitutionally-protected speech?”

Wray responded that it “was not an acknowledgment of that.”

When pressed by Paul on how the FBI changed its behavior, Wray would only say was that the bureau was acting with more caution.

“Did anybody from the FBI ever discuss Constitutionally-protected speech with social media organizations,” Paul continued.

“Not to my understanding,” Wray responded.

The Federalist’s Evita Duffy-Alonso noted in a Tuesday report that Wray’s response “is a lie.”

According to Missouri v. Biden defendants, the FBI played an integral role in the systemic suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story. Polling suggests suppression of this story greatly helped Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential aspirations.

Also on the hot seat at Tuesday’s hearing was Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Under Paul’s questioning, Mayorkas stated that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees only ever met with Big Tech companies “to speak of the threats to the homeland so that those companies are alert to them.”

Asked whether “threats to the homeland” include criticism of vaccine efficacy, Mayorkas said that it does not, suggesting that DHS never directed social media companies to censor vaccine-related content.

Missouri v. Biden revealed that DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) did direct the censorship of speech critical of Covid vaccines and authoritarian lockdown measures implemented by the Covid overlords in government.

Related: First Amendment triumph: Appeals court shuts down government’s censorship ‘nerve center’, October 6, 2023

“[Missouri v. Biden] lists time and time again, discussion of constitutionally protected speech that has nothing to do with national security,” Paul told Mayorkas, refusing to let the secretary lie.

Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Missouri v. Biden but blocked the lower court injunction preventing further speech policing until it can address the case. The case is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court sometime before the end of June 2024.

“For now, Wray and Mayorkas are likely able to continue violating one of Americans’ most sacred and essential rights,” Duffy-Alonso wrote.

Your Choice

Please Support Real Journalism