House Dem Uses Falsehood From MSNBC Host To Threaten ‘Twitter Files’ Journalist With Jail Time

Journalist Matt Taibbi testifies in front of Congress about the "Twitter files" reports (Screenshot, House Judiciary GOP, YouTube)

James Lynch Contributor
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Democratic Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett sent “Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi a letter on April 13 demanding he issue a correction to his Congressional testimony based on a debunked allegation from MSNBC Host Mehdi Hasan.

Plaskett wrote to Taibbi alleging that “information foundational to [his] testimony” was demonstrated to be “false or misleading,” based on his April 6 interview on Hasan’s show. “I would like to provide you with an opportunity to correct the hearing record to ensure accuracy in a congressional hearing and so that the public and their representatives are not misled,” she wrote. (RELATED: REPORT: IRS Agent Showed Up To ‘Twitter Files’ Journalist’s Home Unannounced On The Day He Testified Before Congress)

She was referring to Hasan’s allegation that Taibbi purposefully confused the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in his “Twitter files” reporting and subsequent congressional testimony.

Hasan alleged on social media after the interview that Taibbi “deliberately & under oath misrepresented” his reporting by conflating CISA and CIS in a March 9 tweet. Taibbi said CISA worked with the Election Integrity Partnership’s (EIP) to flag content online, when his reporting showed CIS worked with EIP. The tweet with the mistake has since been deleted.

Plaskett’s letter was first obtained Thursday by independent journalist Lee Fang, who conducted one of the Twitter files reports. She announced the letter on April 13 but failed to disclose the full version until Fang obtained the file. Prior to her letter, Fang reported April 11 that CISA had a similar relationship with EIP based on emails he obtained and public records.

“In other words, Hasan is wrong and presents a deeply distorted view of the mechanics of this process. Taibbi’s testimony, especially the video excerpted by Hasan, is accurate.” Fang wrote in his April 11 Substack post.

Plaskett’s letter then appeared to threaten Taibbi with prison time.

“These instances raise serious questions about other potential inaccuracies in the testimony provided to Congress. In your interview with Mehdi Hasan, you acknowledged, ‘Apparently I’ve gotten one thing wrong or a few things wrong.’ While these inaccuracies may seem minor to you, they could lead Congress to rely on inaccurate testimony in considering and/or passing new legislation which would impact all Americans,” Plaskett’s letter continues.

“Under the federal perjury statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1621, providing false information is punishable by up to five years imprisonment. For all of these reasons, I am sure you understand the importance of ensuring that your testimony is true and accurate. I look forward to your prompt response,” her letter concluded.

Fang and Hasan were once colleagues at The Intercept, where Hasan worked before he was hired by MSNBC in Oct. 2020. Fang also accused Hasan on April 18 of multiple acts of plagiarism.

Taibbi and independent journalist Michael Shellenberger testified in front of the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on March 9 about the Twitter files. Plaskett, ranking member of the select subcommittee, attacked Taibbi and Shellenberger as “so-called journalists” who pose a “direct threat” to their political opponents.