EXCLUSIVE: The Biden administration has led "the largest speech censorship operation in recent history" by working with social media companies to suppress and censor information later acknowledged as truthful," former Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt will tell the House Weaponization Committee Thursday.
Schmitt, now a Republican senator from Missouri, is expected to testify alongside Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and former Missouri deputy attorney general for special litigation, D. John Sauer.
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST BIDEN, TOP OFFICIALS FOR 'COLLUDING' WITH BIG TECH TO CENSOR SPEECH ON HUNTER, COVID
The three witnesses will discuss the findings of their federal government censorship lawsuit, Louisiana and Missouri v. Biden et al—which they filed in May 2022 and which they describe as "the most important free speech lawsuit of this generation."
The testimony comes after Missouri and Louisiana filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, alleging that President Biden and members of his team "colluded with social media giants Meta, Twitter, and YouTube to censor free speech in the name of combating so-called ‘disinformation’ and ‘misinformation.’"
The lawsuit alleges that coordination led to the suppression and censorship of truthful information "on a scale never before seen" using examples of the COVID lab-leak theory, information about COVID vaccinations, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and more.
THESE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION AGENCIES HAVE ADMITTED COVID LAB LEAK IS PLAUSIBLE
The lawsuit is currently in discovery, and Thursday’s hearing is expected to feature witness testimony that will detail evidence collected to show the Biden administration has "coerced social media companies to censor disfavored speech."
"Discovery obtained by Missouri and Louisiana demonstrated that the Biden administration’s coordination with social media companies and collusion with non-governmental organizations to censor speech was far more pervasive and destructive than ever known," Schmitt will testify, according to prepared testimony obtained by Fox News Digital.
Missouri and Louisiana have been able to gather documents and depositions from federal officials as part of the discovery process—including a deposition of Dr. Anthony Fauci, in which they questioned him on the COVID lab-leak theory, efficacy of masks, vaccines and more.
Social media companies flagged any COVID posts from users that cautioned against receiving vaccines; discussed the lab-leak theory; or discounted the efficacy of masks.
FLASHBACK: TWITTER TO EXPAND COVID-19 VACCINES POLICY TO COMBAT 'HARMFUL,' 'MISLEADING' TWEETS
Since then, the FBI and the Department of Energy have admitted that COVID-19 may have originated from a Chinese lab leak, despite outrage during the pandemic that dismissed that theory as a conspiracy.
Missouri and Louisiana also deposed an FBI agent about the Hunter Biden laptop story, which revealed that the FBI "deliberately planted false information about ‘hack-and-leak’ operations in advance of the Hunter Biden laptop story in order to deceive social media platforms into censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story."
Fox News first reported the existence of some type of investigation involving Hunter Biden in October 2020, ahead of the 2020 presidential election. It became known then that the FBI had subpoenaed the laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden in the course of an existing money laundering investigation.
HUNTER BIDEN PROBE: 2022 MARKED FOURTH YEAR — AND COUNTING — OF INVESTIGATION
Hunter Biden confirmed the investigation into his "tax affairs" in December 2020, after his father was elected president. The investigation is being led by Trump-appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
Meanwhile, Landry, in his prepared testimony, obtained and reviewed by Fox News Digital, wrote that, through the lawsuit, they have "uncovered a censorship enterprise so vast that it spans over a dozen significant government institutions."
Those government institutions, according to Landry, include the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the National Institutes of Health.
"Publicly, these federal actors have justified their deeds in the name of protecting the public against ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation,’ when in fact it is done to suppress disfavored views," Landry will say.
Government officials cannot "circumvent the First Amendment by inducing, threatening, and/or colluding with private entities to suppress protected speech," Landry will say.
"Shockingly, this is exactly what has occurred through this federal censorship enterprise," he will explain.
And Sauer is expected to say that evidence collected shows White House officials "badgering social-media platforms in private to censor speech that contradicts the White House’s preferred narratives;" and federal officials "routinely ‘flagging’ social media posts by ordinary Americans for censorship."
Sauer will tell the committee that evidence shows federal officials "orchestrating elaborate plots of deception to dupe platforms into censoring disfavored speech," and engaging in meetings with content-moderation officials of major social media platforms to discuss disinformation and censorship.
STEFANIK SAYS CENSORSHIP OF HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP STORY WAS 'ELECTION MEDDLING BY FBI ON BEHALF OF DEMOCRATS'
Sauer will also testify that federal officials have "relentlessly" pressured social media platforms by "threatening them with ruinous legal consequences if they do not increase censorship of disfavored speakers and viewpoints."
"Federal censorship stifles the voices of ordinary Americans and places the ‘modern public square’ in elite control," Sauer will say. "And freedom of speech does not harm people. On the contrary, censorship inflicts lasting harm on Americans by distorting and impeding the quest for truth in a free marketplace of ideas."