The Biden administration has been leading a massive “speech censorship operation” to censor “disfavored” opinions while “lust[ing] for its own Ministry of Truth,” according to Missouri Republican Senator Eric Schmitt, who warned of the need to “stop the threat to free speech.”
During a hearing on the “weaponization” of the federal government by the House Weaponization Committee on Thursday, Sen. Schmitt testified on Big Tech censorship before the House Judiciary Committee.
Calling the First Amendment “the beating heart of our Constitution” as well as “integral to maintaining our Republican form of government and the belief that we are a country of free people,” Schmitt accused the Biden administration of having “led the largest speech censorship operation in recent American history.”
“Since taking office, President Biden and his team have labored to suppress viewpoints with which they disagree, and in doing so they have infringed upon the individual freedoms of millions of Americans,” he said.
Insisting that government censorship should concern everyone regardless of political affiliation, the Missouri senator accused the Biden administration of having “coerced, cajoled, and colluded with social media companies to censor disfavored speech.”
“The Biden team has publicly threatened social media companies with removing legal protections, blames social media companies for societal problems, [and] accused social media companies of killing people,” he said.
According to Schmitt, the involved platforms are “some of the biggest companies in the history of the world” and “willingly took part in this Orwellian vast censorship enterprise.”
“On multiple occasions, President Biden and his team have threatened to punish social media companies that did not sufficiently censor Biden’s political opposition by revoking section 230,” he said, referencing a section of the Communications Decency Act which provides tech companies immunity from certain liabilities that other types of media do not enjoy.
He then pointed to the president suggesting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “be subject to civil liability and potential criminal prosecution for not censoring political speech” while repeatedly accusing social media companies of “‘killing people’ by not censoring enough disfavored speech.”
“The Biden administration has threatened and attacked social media companies so that those social media companies would censor speech the Biden administration dislikes,” he added.
Noting that “until the Missouri v. Biden lawsuit, and later the Twitter files, the Biden administration’s efforts to pressure and collude with social media companies was behind the scenes through meetings and emails and was unknown,” Schmitt expressed his “pride” in having joined Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry “to sue the Biden administration for violating the First Amendment through this vast censorship enterprise.”
In May, while serving as Missouri AG, Schmitt filed a lawsuit alongside Landry against President Biden for allegedly colluding with big tech social media companies to censor conservatives under the guise of combatting “misinformation.”
According to Schmitt, this led to the “suppression and censorship of truthful information on a scale never seen before.”
The lawsuit—which provides examples including the Hunter Biden laptop story, the COVID-19 lab leak theory story, and the efficacy of masks—names Biden and top administration officials, including former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and previously named Disinformation Governance Board director Nina Jankowicz as defendants.
Schmitt insisted he would continue to fight the current administration for the sake of free speech.
“President Biden and his administration may lust for [their] own Ministry of Truth, but I, along with millions of Americans, will never stop fighting for the God-given right to speak your mind, freedom of expression, [and] freedom of speech,” he said.
“Americans have enshrined the First Amendment in our Constitution more than 230 years ago for good reason and for times such as these,” he added.
He also warned against allowing the Biden administration “to infringe upon the freedoms that we cherish and that have been purchased by the sacrifice of millions of Americans.”
“Freedom of speech is vital to our country and our people in many ways,” he added. “It’s our pressure relief valve.”
He concluded by calling to “stop the Biden administration’s threat to free speech so that America can remain the freest country in the history of the world.”
The remarks come as the current administration faces various accusations of impeding free speech.
In May, Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley argued that President Biden was “arguably the most anti-free speech president since John Adams.”