- The Washington Times
Friday, September 3, 2021

OPINION:

The Biden team is omitting the degree to which Jan. 6 rioters relied on Facebook, Twitter, and Google — the Democratic Party’s best censorship friends. 

Here’s how. 


Government lawyers prosecuting Jan. 6 Capitol rioters have filed an inventory in the U.S. District Court of the Justice Department’s huge stock of evidence, including posted videos and photos. It is a grand tour of what they hold as opposed to specific documents. Prosecutors are required by law to turn over evidence to defense attorneys as part of pre-trial discovery. 

The 13-page memo leaves out the social media platforms that often do the Democratic Party’s bidding. Instead, the Justice Department document focuses on a single conservative-favored app, Parler, although Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” supporters made extensive use of Facebook and Twitter. Parler is the same site those liberal big tech firms temporarily put out of business until it reemerged on another Internet host.

Republicans last winter warned there was a liberal campaign brewing to protect big tech from Jan. 6 scrutiny. 

The DoJ memo, “United States’ Memorandum Regarding Status of Discovery,” prepared by the “Capitol Breach Discovery Coordinator,” seems to prove it.

The memo also underscores the political priority of President Biden to paint America’s No. 1 threat here and abroad as homegrown “white supremacists.” They are everywhere ready to destroy the country, Mr. Biden says, as does his attorney general, Merrick Garland.

Mr. Garland told a Senate panel in May, “In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat we face comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.”

This is why the Justice memo is so interesting. The Jan. 6 breach is likely the most photographed, filmed, and texted crime-in-progress — before, during, and after.

When the evidence list gets to social media accounting, prosecutors mentioned just one platform relied on by invaders: “A collection of over one million Parler posts, replies, and related data.” “A collection of over one million Parler videos and images (approximately 20 terabytes of data).”

And then, under the heading, “Systematic Reviews of Voluminous Materials.”

“Comparing all known identifiers of any charged defendant against tips, Parler data, ad tech data, cell tower data, and geofence data.”

By this evidence-disclosure filing, you would think that Parler alone played the role of Jan. 6 Capitol riot communications center. It was not alone.

Perhaps there were more total social media posts on Parler than Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube. 

But the Washington Times showed in a story I authored in February––a month into the Justice Department investigation — that Facebook by far was the most mentioned platform in over 160 law enforcement affidavits justifying the arrests of alleged invaders. 

The Times review showed that of 160 affidavits, 93 contained references to the defendant’s social media posts. Of those, Facebook was cited by 69 alleged rioters, Twitter 18 and Instagram 12 and Parler 5. 

Many Trump supporters were active on Facebook. Oath Keepers member Thomas E. Caldwell of Virginia used its direct messaging feature to plan their Jan. 6 actions.

“Records obtained from Facebook indicate that Caldwell was involved in planning and coordinating the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol [and] other Oath Keeper militia members participated,” says the FBI affidavit against them.

Elsewhere, Karl Dresch used Facebook to plan for Jan. 6. His post “equated the planned events for January 6, 2021, with the historical events on July 4, 1776.” On Jan. 3, he posted: “NO EXCUSES! NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER! TAKE THE STREETS! TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY!”

At least one Democrat, Rep.Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, put pressure in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray to investigate Parler’s involvement in Jan. 6 chaos. She did not mention other social media platforms. 

Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the committee’s top Republican, warned early on this is what the Democrats are up to. He responded with a tweet: “Democrats are targeting conservatives and wish to shield Facebook & Twitter from any scrutiny. To understand the Capitol attacks, the @FBI must look at ALL tech platforms and the role social media played leading up to the riots.”

Now the Justice Department, with its discovery memo, appears to be doing what Ms. Maloney wants.

Indeed, Silicon Valley’s powerful information oligarchs have been good friends to Democrats and the Bidens while censoring Donald Trump.

They banned the former president from their platforms. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, they censored talk that the bug came, not from a market in Wuhan, China, but from the laboratory in town that experimented with bat blood containing the coronavirus. It was a Trump talking point.

A conspiracy theory, the oligarchs, ruled. Their logic: The disease pops up in the city of Wuhan, but its hometown virus lab, noted for sloppiness, could not possibly be the source.

I have not seen Twitter censoring any Chinese communist state propaganda tweets offering bogus conspiracies on the virus’s supposed non-China source.

Facebook and Twitter imposed a blackout on Hunter Biden and his discarded laptop computer filled with information on how dad Joe Biden helps his son collect millions from European oligarchs and Chinese communists. Old fashion influence peddling.

Twitter and Facebook rhythmically cancel conservative voices but never seem to do the same to liberals. 

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, has been shut down for reciting COVID-related studies dismissed by Silicon Valley. 

“YouTube may be a private entity, but they’re acting like an arm of the government censoring those who present an alternative view to the science deniers in Washington,” Mr. Paul tweeted.

• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist at The Washington Times.


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