ACLJ Files Lawsuit Against Biden Administration Over "Disinformation Board" After New Documents Catch DHS Secretary in a Lie

By 

Jordan Sekulow

|
June 10

5 min read

Free Speech

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The Biden Administration may have announced that its plans to launch a Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) had been officially suspended, but new evidence has made it clear that the Biden Administration is intent on censoring and spying on Americans – and now it appears that what Secretary Mayorkas told Congress about the Board was not true.

The ACLJ took URGENT legal action to expose them. We immediately filed a FOIA request after the shocking news broke. And today, we took President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to court. 

Critically, U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) just released newly obtained documents revealing alarming details about the draconian Disinformation Board that contradict much of what the Biden Administration claimed when it finally announced the new committee.

Among many inconsistencies, the documents reveal that plans for the DGB began as early as September 2021 and show DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed the Board’s charter in February 2022, at which point rendering it operational. Two months later on April 27th, Nina Jankowicz, who had been named Executive Director of the Disinformation Board tweeted:

Cat’s out of the bag: here’s what I’ve been up to the past two months . . . Honored to be serving in the Biden Administration @DHSgov and helping shape our counter-disinformation efforts.

So the charter was signed in February. The Executive Director claimed to have been working at least since then. And yet when he was grilled by Sen. Hawley in May 2022 about being able to provide documentation or minutes from any DGB meetings, Sec. Mayorkas answered that no such documents existed because the Disinformation Governance Board had "not yet begun its work."

That math simply doesn’t add up. In fact, those documents also revealed that the DGB was planning a meeting with representatives from Twitter on April 28th to "Propose that Twitter become involved in Disinformation Governance Board Analytic Exchanges on Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE) and Irregular Migration." And remember, we told you that when the Biden Administration says "Domestic Violent Extremism," they’re referring to American parents who voice objections to leftist curriculums and policies. Biden’s DHS tags them the same way they do terrorists.

Shortly after the creation of the DGB was announced, we told you how the ACLJ had filed an urgent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding all records pertaining to the creation of the Board. But true to form, the Biden Administration once again chose to ignore our demand.

One of our requests included a demand for "[r]ecords of any communication or information exchanged between any DHS official – all of an appointee or GS-14 level or higher – and any non-government person, entity or organization, regarding the 'Disinformation Governance Board' revealed by Secretary Mayorkas at the congressional hearing on April 27, 2022." We suspected the Biden DHS was consulting with social media entities to collude on censoring Americans with differing views. The records Senators Hawley and Grassley received confirm our suspicion.

Also, according to Senators Hawley and Grassley, "DHS officials appear to have prepared legislation to codify a 'Rumor Control Program of the Department of Homeland Security to Counter Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation,' including a public-facing website known as 'Rumor Control.'" We also suspected that Biden’s DHS was consulting with leftists in the Senate and House in furtherance of their censorship agenda. That’s why we included a request for records of DHS communications with Members of Congress regarding the Disinformation Governance Board.

The Biden Administration’s continued refusal to cooperate, or even acknowledge our legal request, left us with no other option. We just filed a lawsuit against the Biden DHS in federal court in Washington, D.C. As we alleged in the complaint:

The Defendant is unlawfully withholding records requested by the Plaintiff American Center for Law and Justice pursuant to the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552. . . .

Through continued delay and outright failure to properly respond to Plaintiff’s lawful request for records, and its improper withholding of such requested records, the Defendant has failed to comply with FOIA’s prescribed deadlines for responding to a request for records and has violated Plaintiff’s statutory rights.

As a result, our lawsuit asked the court to:

    • (a) Order that the Defendant conduct a diligent, expedited search for any and all records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request and demonstrate that they employed reasonable search methods most technologically likely to lead to the discovery of records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request, selected from among those methods available to Defendant;
    • (b) An Order that the Defendant produce, by a date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request and a Vaughn index of any responsive records withheld under claim of exemption;

    • (c) An Order enjoining the Defendant from continuing to withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request;

The Biden Administration appears intent on coming after anyone who doesn’t kowtow to its leftist agenda. We’ve told you they’re targeting conservatives, and they’re labeling parents like terrorists. It’s apparent the Left has no compunction about stepping on your freedoms in the name of securing and holding on to more power.

We will not stand back and allow this to continue. We will find out who was really behind this Disinformation Board and the real intentions behind it. DHS doesn’t want to tell us, but now they’ll have to tell us in federal court.

We will continue to keep you updated as this case develops.