After my testimony before the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government yesterday, I found myself the subject of a segment on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell where criticized me for a bizarre exchange with freshman Democrat Dan Goldman. O’Donnell did not actually show the full exchange, but the claim is patently false and I wanted to briefly respond.
I appeared before the Committee to discuss the constitutional limits on the government supporting or directing censorship. I have written about the concerns over “censorship by surrogate.”
Rather than address that testimony, Rep. Goldman asked the following question: “have you ever worked for the federal government?”
I answered “yes.”
Goldman then proceeded to ask me to explain how I worked for the federal government. I have actually worked in all three branches in various capacities through the years and started by noting that I started with internships. Goldman then interrupted and pressed me on the internships. Obviously, despite O’Donnell’s claim, I was not claiming a single internship as a credential to discuss the Twitter Files.
O’Donnell scoffed at the fact that I mentioned that I worked for Congress as counsel and said that this is not working in Congress. However, the question was whether and then how I worked for the federal government. When I then tried to discuss other work for the government, Goldman cut me off.
The tactic of reclaiming time to prevent such explanations is common in such attacks. I have previously objected to the tactic used against other witnesses, but it remains a favorite of members.
(Rep. Goldman also cut off my fellow witness when he asked the former FBI agent if he had ever investigated extremist groups. When he also answered “yes” and tried to explain, Goldman also cut him off).
This is much like complaining about the weather in Washington. I understood that I would be attacked for raising these questions. (On MSNBC, member of Congress who also testified yesterday were denounced as “Putin apologists” and Putin lovers.). However, I felt that some brief response was warranted.