The House Judiciary Committee recently subpoenaed the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board. Nina Jankowicz chaired the board from its inception in April 2022 to its dissolution in May 2022. During her time, opposing opinions were strongly vocalized, she promoted a number of false claims that are popular among the Democrats. Jankowicz put forward the idea that the board was shut down as part of a larger campaign by right-wing disinformation. The committee’s subpoena requests general information about the board’s formation and intentions, which Jankowicz has so far failed to comply with, necessitating the subpoena.
Documents published by Republican senators show the Biden administration feared conspiracy theories impacting civil liberties and free speech, and they were particularly concerned with disinformation related to vaccines, mask efficacy, and U.S. government immigration policy. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisted that the board would not infringe on civil rights, civil liberties, or free speech because it would focus on an international perspective. However, documents released by Republican Senators such as Josh Hawley of Missouri and Charles Grassley of Iowa show that the board focused on topic, not on national origin.
Republican elected officials were alarmed by DHS’s decision to appoint Jankowicz to lead the board. She had repeatedly accused GOP officials and activists of spreading disinformation. She claimed that opponents of Critical Race Theory solely engage in disinformation, and that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Republican campaign product. She also insisted that Hunter Biden was not involved in anything reprehensible during his time on the Burisma Energy board.
In November 2022, Jankowicz registered as a foreign agent lobbying for a British firm. The Centre for Information Resilience aims to counter disinformation, expose human rights abuses, and combat online abuse against women and minorities.
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