Christopher Wray testified yesterday before Congress and had to face a number of poignant critiques over his directorship of the FBI. Among the litany of memorable exchanges between members of the House Judiciary Committee and the FBI director was when Wray commented about Communist Chinese governmental practices to ensure compliance by business to ideological orthodoxies and how different this was from the United States and the West. Representative Jim Jordan then turned this comment against Wray by noting that this was in effect what the FBI did with respect to how it used social media companies. That exchange was captured below.
The video clip begins with Wray’s commentary about Communist Chinese practices. Wray stated that “Really any company of any size in China is required by Chinese law to have what they quaintly call a committee, which is essentially a cell inside the company whose sole function is to ensure that company’s compliance with Chinese Communist Party orthodoxy. If we tried to install something like that in American companies or if the British tried to do it in British companies or any number of other places, people would go out of their minds, and rightly so.”
The camera then cut to Representative Lance Gooden (R-TX) who briefly remarked that he agreed with the director and that “I’d like to work with you more on that and I’d yield the balance of my time to the chairman, thank you.” The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Jim Jordan, realized he had been given a proverbial sword by Wray and then used this sword to metaphorically run the director through.
Representative Jordan opened up against Wray by observing “But that’s exactly what you [Wray and the FBI] did, and the judge said it last week [in Missouri v. Biden]. Every week you were meeting with big tech companies saying, ‘Hey, look at this. This violates your policy. Take this speech of Americans down.’ You were doing the same darn thing [that] you just described the Chinese about [doing].”
The judge in the Missouri v. Biden case found that ‘the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”‘ and observed numerous cases where the FBI censored the lawful speech of American citizens.
As one example of FBI conduct, the judge noted that “[f]or each election cycle, during the days immediately preceding and through election days, the FBI maintains a command center around the clock to receive and forward reports of “disinformation” and “misinformation.” The FBI requests that social-media platforms have people available to receive and process the reports at all times” and later that “the FBI shares this information with social-media platforms as it relates to information the FBI believes should be censored.”