(Corine Gatti, Headline USA) House Democrats have taken censorship to new and dangerous levels, threatening journalist Matt Taibbi with up to five years of prison time for a typo.
The threat was spearheaded by House Democrat Stacey Plaskett, V.I., over Taibbi’s testimony to Congress in March about “Twitter Files” published on the social media platform and an interview the reporter did on MSNBC — sparking more threats for the renegade writer, according to the Daily Wire.
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan has been on a bizarre and increasingly dangerous mission to discredit Matt Taibbi, an independent journalist and contributor to “The Twitter Files.” Mehdi claimed Taibbi lied under oath to Congress – a felony that can be prosecuted with prison.
The reporter mistakenly referred to CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) when the intended reference had been CIS (Center for Internet Security). Taibbi recognized his mistake and amended the statement to make it clear that the organization in question was the Center for Internet Security. In response, Taibbi conceded the inconsistency, saying that he had inadvertently used the wrong abbreviation.
Plaskett jumped on board with Hasan, going after the reporter.
“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 said in her letter to Taibbi.
Plaskett wrote, “you swore ‘under penalty of perjury that the testimony you [were] about to give [was] true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief.’ Under the federal perjury statue, 18 U.S.C. 1621, proving false information is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.”
Taibbi responded on Substack that “Plaskett is threatening me with prison, over her own error. Just after I ran a piece called “The Press is Now Also the Police” about the New York Times and Washington Post boasting of roles in delivering a leak suspect to the FBI, MSNBC’s new attack-caster, Mehdi Hasan, got his wish, inspiring first Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and then Plaskett to trumpet his incredibly vicious and mistaken claim that I lied to Congress.”
There was an immediate conservative media backlash when the news broke about a government official threatening a journalist.
Fellow Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger, who also testified at the hearing, said he was extremely disturbed by the manner in which Plaskett has treated those she has invited to testify in her hearing.
“It is an honor to be invited to be an expert witness. Not only are we unpaid, we pay our own travel. What @StaceyPlaskett has done is a disgrace. Why would anyone choose to testify if they’re going to threatened with prison? Talk about a grotesque attack on norms. For shame.”
The Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller asked if this was going to be the new norm that “Democrat House Reps are now threatening journalists with prison. Are the norms restored to everyone’s satisfaction now?”
“The party of Norms threatens to imprison a journalist for confusing nearly identical acronyms,” Washington Free Beacon Aaron Sibarium likewise said.
If it wasn’t bad enough that same day during his testimony in front of Congress, an IRS agent paid an unannounced visit to Taibbi’s home in New Jersey.
Weaponization Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, rebuked the timing of the visit and fired off a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, writing, “The circumstances surrounding the IRS’s unannounced and unprompted visit to Mr. Taibbi’s home, at the exact time that he was testifying to Congress about ‘the most serious government abuse he has witnessed in his career as a journalist, are incredible.”