CDC proposed monthly ‘pre-debunking’ meeting with Facebook to help censor free speech

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Yesterday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a joint discovery dispute statement asking the Louisiana District Court to compel the Department of Justice to hand over communications between senior Biden administration officials from the White House, State Department, FBI and others and major social media companies. The Department of Justice has already handed over communications between a number of federal officials and social media companies, but declined to provide communications between senior officials and social media companies.

“Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit in May that seeks to uncover how senior Biden administration officials allegedly colluded with social media companies to censor free speech on a number of topics, including COVID-19. We won in court in July, and the court asked the Biden administration to hand over communications between federal officials and social media companies,” said Attorney General Schmitt.

“We have already received a number of documents which clearly prove that the federal government has an incestuous relationship with social media companies and clearly coordinates to censor free speech, but we are not done. The Justice Department cowers behind executive privilege and has refused to pass communications between top Biden administration officials and social media companies. That is why, yesterday, we asked the Court to compel the Department of Justice to produce these files. We’re just getting started – stay tuned.

Communications already provided by the Justice Department to complaining states show, as the joint statement points out, a vast “censorship enterprise” across a multitude of federal agencies. In response to interrogations from Missouri and Louisiana, the defendants identified 45 federal civil servants to DHS, CISA, CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General (all contained within DHS or HHS) communicating with social media platforms about “misinformation” and censorship.

The joint statement points out: “But in these responses, the defendants did not provide any information about federal officials from other federal agencies of whom they are aware who engage in such communications with social media platforms about the misinformation and censorship, although the complainants specifically asked for this highly relevant information. The defendants’ production of documents, however, reveals that such officials from other federal agencies exist – for example, their emails include an extended copy of Census Bureau officials, and they also include communications involving Treasury departments. and state.

Beyond the Justice Department production, “Meta, for example, revealed that at least 32 federal officials, including senior officials from the FDA, the United States Election Assistance Commission, and the White House, have communicated with Meta about moderating content on its platforms. , many of which were not disclosed in response to plaintiffs’ questioning to defendants. YouTube disclosed eleven federal officials engaged in such communications, including Census Bureau and White House officials, many of whom were also not disclosed by the defendants.

The joint statement continued, “The discovery provided so far demonstrates that this censorship enterprise is extremely broad, including officials from the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, CDC, NIAID, and Bureau the Surgeon General; and of course other agencies, such as the Census Bureau, FDA, FBI, State Department, Treasury Department, and United States Election Assistance Commission. And it rises to the highest levels of the US government, including many White House officials. The defendants objected to the production of some of the most relevant and probative information in their possession. »

This “censorship enterprise” is proven by Justice Department productions so far, but the extent of collusion by federal officials with social media companies over censorship is unknown until the Justice Department Justice produce other communications requested by Missouri and Louisiana.

A senior Facebook official emailed the Surgeon General saying, “I know our teams met today to better understand the scope of what the White House expects of us on misinformation going forward. ” This email chain follows the SG’s July 2021 “disinformation health advisory”: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/hhs-fb-email-1.pdf?sfvrsn=53bc4454_2

The same senior official later emailed HHS and noted, “Thank you again for taking the time to meet with us earlier today.” Next, the official went on to discuss how Facebook is taking even more steps to censor free speech: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/hhs-fb-exhibit.pdf?sfvrsn=55bd83df_2

Twitter has scheduled a meeting to debrief senior White House officials on “vaccine misinformation.” : https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/twitter-vaccine-meeting-wh.pdf?sfvrsn=6599e359_2b

There are several instances where Facebook would not proceed with free speech censorship on its platform until it receives notice, or a “debunking” from the CDC. Twitter followed the same course in at least one email.

The CDC also offered a monthly pre-debunking meeting with Facebook to help them censor free speech (https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/cdc-fb-monthly-debunk.pdf?sfvrsn=3508a21f_2) as well as regular “Be on the Lookout” calls with major social media outlets: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/cdc-bolo-meeting.pdf?sfvrsn=9a060658_2

A White House official was even concerned about Fauci’s parody accounts and coordinated with FB to remove them: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/fake-fauci.pdf?sfvrsn=a9d8f2bf_2

The joint petition is available here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/free-speech-pitch-thread-docs/doc-71—joint-statement-on-discovery-disputes.pdf?sfvrsn=3b968800_2

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