Democrats Attempt to Turn Social Media Censorship Hearing into Russia Probe

HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. The two leaders met one-on-one and discussed a range of issues including the 2016 U.S Election collusion. (Photo …
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

During a hearing relating to censorship on social media platforms, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly denied the existence of any social media censorship and attempted to turn the hearing towards talk of Russian election interference.

During a hearing today which saw representatives from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic members of the committee repeatedly denied that censorship of conservative voices exists on social media and spent much of their opening statements discussing the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 election and attacking President Trump for his comments at the Helsinki Summit.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) began his opening statement saying: “In terms of today’s hearing, the majority would rather focus on made up threats, fabricated, phony and inflated threats instead of the real threats that are facing the United States of America so today we resume consideration for the entirely imaginiative narrative that social media companies are biased against conservatives. Companies I should add, whose platforms were used to spread vicious Russian propaganda which helped to elect Donald Trump President.”

Raskin continued: “This hearing was called as a follow up to the one we conducted in April on the content filtering practices of social media platforms, so to be clear the majority intends to pick up where it left off with Diamon and Silk when we last met and to dedicate one of the last working days before the five-week August recess to this conservative fantasy instead of to the long list of real and pressing issues facing America beginning with the crisis caused yesterday by President Trump’s abject humiliation before the eyes of the world in his cooperation with Vladimir Putin and in his choosing of Putin’s narrative over that of the U.S. intelligence community and the U.S. law enforcement community.” Raskin stated: “The majority would have us believe this conspiracy theory about anti-conservative bias despite the fact that the Republican party controls every elected component of our federal government.”

Raskin was not the only Democrat to disagree with the claim that conservatives are censored across social media, in fact, nearly every Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee seemed to agree with this viewpoint. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said later in the hearing:”This is such an interesting hearing, I think, motivated by a sense of persecution on the part of Republicans and conservatives that somehow [feel] they’re unfairly treated. There’s been no evidence whatsoever [that] I have seen, or the majority has been able to provide that there’s any bias whatsoever.”

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called for a motion to investigate the findings of Robert Mueller’s special counsel rather than continue the hearing relating to social media. Nadler stated: “Before I begin my questions I have a motion at the desk. Mr. Chairman, on July 10th 2001, the Phoenix field office of the FBI forwarded a memorandum to the headquarter to advise the bureau of an effort by Osama Bin Laden to send associates to the United States to enroll in civil aviation courses. In the words of former CIA director George Tenet, ‘the system was blinking red.’ For a host of complicated reasons, the Bush administration did not follow up adequately, and two months later on September 11th in my district, the world trade towers fell. Mr. Chairman, last Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian nationals for hacking into the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and several state election systems. This indictment is a remarkable piece of forensic work. With the aid of the intelligence community, the special counsel can name the specific Russian military intelligence officers at the keyboard on a given day. And in the words of Director Coates, a distinguished former Republican Senator and President Trump’s handpicked Director of National Intelligence, ‘our digital infrastructure is literally under attack’ by the Russian government as we speak.”

“Yesterday in Helsinki, President Trump said he does not believe it. He sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence community, and he continues to undermine the American law enforcement by claiming on the world stage that our laws are meaningless, the work of investigators has been worthless and that no one should take this special counsel seriously. This is a catastrophe in the making. If we do not take any action, the American people may not trust the outcome of the next election… our nation is under attack, accordingly under committee rule 3B and house rule 11G2A, I move that the committee do now go into executive session for the purposes of discussing the evidence in our possession that speaks directly to the special counsels indictment and to the President’s apparent submission to the Russian government.”

These actions continued throughout the hearing, with Democrats regularly attempting to derail the discussion into talks of Russian collusion and president Donald Trump’s recent comments at the Helsinki summit.

The full hearing can be watched in the video above.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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