Arizona AG calls DHS disinformation advice a ‘blatant attempt’ to silence political opposition

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FIRST ON FOX: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich calls Department of Homeland Security’s creation of disinformation governance council a ‘blatant attempt’ to silence political opponents of the Biden administration – amid of a growing pushback from the GOP towards the council.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Brnovich says the creation of the board of directors, and the selection of Nina Jankowicz to lead it, “may be one of the greatest threats to our Constitution we’ve seen in decades. generations”.

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“Your actions come at a time when President Biden is facing increasing scrutiny and appropriate criticism for his failed policies, and when state officials (like me) are winning in the courts of legal and public opinion,” he wrote.

“This new board is simply a blatant attempt by the Biden administration to recreate and twist the narrative to silence political opposition,” he says. “But don’t get me wrong – your idea can’t pass the smell test – let alone the constitutional rally.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Washington.
((AP Photo/Evan Vucci))

Mayorkas announced during testimony Wednesday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security that DHS has established a Disinformation Governance Council to combat online disinformation.

“The goal is to marshal the resources of (DHS) to deal with this threat,” Mayorkas said during the hearing, adding that the department is focused on spreading misinformation in minority communities ahead of the elections. mid-term of 2022.

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The announcement sparked outrage, which grew when it was reported that Nina Jankowicz, a former “disinformation fellow” at the Woodrow Wilson Center, had been chosen to be the executive director of the disinformation committee.

Jankowicz has repeated complaints on Twitter that were later found to be completely false or misleading, including questioning the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s laptop and saying it should be considered a “Trump campaign product” and called the story of the “fairy tale” Delaware laptop repair shop. She also highlighted Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the discredited 2016 dossier alleging links between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Over the weekend, Mayorkas was press on the disinformation board and told “Fox News Sunday” that he “could have done a better job of communicating what he is doing” and said the board specifically dealt with “misinformation that poses a threat for homeland security”. He then defended Jankowicz and said he didn’t “question his objectivity.”

Brnovich, calling the board “reminiscent of communist or totalitarian regimes”, said Jankowicz “has already proven that she will be anything but a fair and impartial arbiter of government-sanctioned truth.”

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Brnovich also hinted at potential litigation in his lawsuit, as he suggested the advice is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. Brnovich and a number of other Republican AGs have won lawsuits targeting Biden administration policies and have expressed a willingness to pursue further legal action.

“Americans will not tolerate this flagrant overstepping of constitutional limits by the federal government,” he said.

Brnovich also urged Mayorkas to focus instead on the ongoing crisis on the southern border.

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“With the record rise in deaths related to fentanyl and other drugs and the arrest of terrorists attempting to enter our country, I urge you to abandon the Disinformation Governance Council and refocus your resources on securing our southern border and keeping Americans safe,” he wrote.

Cameron Cawthorne and Kelly Laco of Fox News contributed to this report.

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