The subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee dealing with the so-called weaponization of the federal government held another public hearing on Thursday that this time featured witnesses including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) leads the subcommittee and broader panel.
As the hearing began, ranking member Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) confronted some of the conspiracy theories that Republicans have promoted, including about some kind of complicity from those holding authoritative roles in spreading false suspicion about the veracity of controversial information. Plaskett spotlighted a portion of a past interview with someone who has worked at the FBI who actually indicated to questioners that they didn’t have “much knowledge” of earlier stages of the agency’s handling of a laptop tied to Hunter Biden, a son of the president.
In short, the implication there is that it wasn’t necessarily as conclusively determined as Republicans might claim that the device originated with Hunter, though this device and its contents have been consistently used in GOP-supported conspiracy theories about ostensible corruption ensnaring the Biden family.
Plaskett also blasted past statements from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a scion of the Kennedy family currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2024 but unlikely to obtain it considering his consistently dismal showings in polls. Kennedy has recently faced outrage for insisting there’s some meaningful difference in the impacts on Jews and Chinese people from COVID-19, an idea that could lay the groundwork for conspiracy theories about some kind of plot to ultimately favor those people above other groups.
Plaskett accused GOP leadership of having “cosigned on idiotic, bigoted messaging” in inviting Kennedy. “All of this, as you’ll hear throughout this hearing, is to show us by their conduct over and over again that any attack on Joe Biden to get Donald Trump back in the White House is what they need to do,” Plaskett told the hearing, arguing that Republicans’ priorities were with politically boosting Trump as the former president runs again for the White House. “Truth be told, I’ve no idea whether the chairman actually believes any of this stuff… But it’s clear that one aim of his investigation is to bully tech and media companies into turning a blind eye to right-wing extremist conspiracies, from QAnon to the Great Replacement Theory, as they spread across their platforms, even as those theories violate very basic terms of service about deliberate disinformation and promoting violence.”
“But that freedom doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t see what they’re doing and demand something better from our representatives, from my colleagues, from this Congress,” Plaskett said, referring to freedom of speech. Check out the hearing below: