Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said Tuesday Republicans should block funding for the FBI until the agency explains its involvement in online censorship following the latest release from the Twitter files.
“In the beginning, I thought that there were probably two or three rogue employees who were orchestrating this cover up of the Hunter Biden laptop story, but now we know the FBI had a division of at least 80 agents,” Comer, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We also know that the FBI paid Twitter over $3 million for their time, all the time they took over the past couple of years in telling them who to suppress, who to ban. You know, it’s just things that the government has no role in.” (RELATED: ‘Take Aim’: Adam Schiff Threatens Big Tech Unless They Censor More Content)
“The FBI was never granted the authority to create any type of disinformation task force that policed the social media sites. Now this we know with Twitter,” Comer continued. “We’ve heard similar stories from Zuckerberg. Who knows what went on at YouTube and Google. This is an agency that’s out of control.”
Journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger reported on the extent of how Twitter censored users, including at the behest of the FBI, in a series of releases initially posted on the social media site starting Dec. 2. The FBI reportedly paid Twitter $3.5 million between October 2019 and February 2021 to reimburse the social media company for financial costs incurred while complying with FBI requests.
“We need to halt everything with the FBI, all funding, until they come forward and explain to Congress exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it, and who gave them the authority to do it,” Comer said.
Comer also blasted the omnibus funding bill, saying that its passage could hinder efforts to get answers about the FBI’s conduct.
“In no way shape or form should the government be in the business of censoring free speech, whether that be liberal speech, or conservative speech. That’s just something the government shouldn’t do,” Comer said. “But to dedicate a whole taskforce of at least 80 employees to do nothing but communicate with social media sites and telling them what stories to suppress, who to ban, it’s just wrong. It’s a — it’s a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars. It’s a violation of the Constitution. And to think that as we speak, the Senate sitting here giving them more money for the next 12 months, tying our hands and our ability to get the FBI in front of the committee.”
“You know, one way we could get the FBI in front of the committee really quickly is say, ‘We’re not giving you a penny until you all come down here and explain to us what this task force was. Why you told Twitter to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story when you knew darn well it was true,’” Comer continued. “And the Senate is counter to everything that we’re trying to do in the House from an oversight standpoint right now, especially with respect to the FBI.”
The FBI and Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Minority Leader, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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