Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin rebuked his colleague, Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert, after she claimed during a speech on the House floor that Democrats want to "censor free speech."
Boebert accused Democrats of creating an "Orwellian Ministry of Truth," pointing to the news the Biden administration would roll out a Disinformation Governance Board, a new arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that will specialize in countering the spread of Russian and other disinformation campaigns.
The woman tapped for the top post within the new agency is Nina Jankowicz, a researcher, author and commentator specializing in disinformation who previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and as supervisor of the Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute.
Boebert suggested Jankowicz is not credible because she refused to entertain conspiracy theories–such as COVID-19 being made in a lab or then-Vice President Joe Biden acted corruptly in Ukraine to protect his son from a corruption investigation–and has instead correctly identified them as disinformation.
Boebert's remarks prompted Raskin to turn her own claim against her.
You can hear what he said in the video below.
Raskin suggested Boebert's claim Democrats are trying to censor free speech does not hold water because she has been allowed to make her grievances known in the first place.
“Unlike some of our colleagues on the other side, we’re not interested in censoring other people’s speech."
“We want the whole world to see how the gentlelady from Colorado speaks, in public, as a member of Congress."
"We want everyone to look at that."
Boebert has often alleged her political opposition is intent on destroying the First Amendment's free speech protections, particularly online, where much of the disinformation spreads.
The First Amendment applies only to governmental action and does not apply to behavior by private employers, private companies, or private, non-government individuals unless they worked in concert with the government.
Ironically, Boebert's Twitter activities have occasionally violated the First Amendment given she has previously blocked her constituents and was sued because she cannot legally block anyone who finds any of her tweets objectionable.
In 2019, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled online pages used by government officials to connect with their constituents are public forums, which means an official cannot block people from them because of the opinions they hold.
Raskin's remarks quickly went viral and many concurred if Boebert truly was being censored, she wouldn't have been able to give her speech–or make a fool of herself parroting long discredited conspiracy theories.
Boebert's criticisms of Jankowicz are only the latest example of the pushback to her appointment–and the Disinformation Governance Board–from conservatives.
Last week, Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade suggested the Biden administration should not have hired Jankowicz, who happens to be nearly nine months pregnant, and could not fathom why the government would give an "important job" to a pregnant woman.
Kilmeade went on to say the Biden administration could have found anyone else to take charge because he is "not sure how you get a job and then you just—you can’t do a job for three months."