For allegedly committing perjury during his “Twitter Files” testimony before Congress last month, Virgin Islands Democrat Rep. Stacey Plaskett reportedly threatened independent journalist Matt Taibbi with up to five years in prison, citing a minor mistake he made in a tweet that he has since deleted.
On March 9, Taibbi gave testimony at a hearing organized by Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (R-OH), whose subcommittee on the weaponization of government is investigating how the Federal Trade Commission handles Twitter.
Taibbi and author Michael Schellenberger were questioned by Plaskett, a non-voting member of the House and the panel’s ranking member, about how they examined internal Twitter emails and instant messages, which revealed how the social media platform allegedly collaborated with government agencies, including the FBI, to stifle conservatives on the platform.
During the hearing, Taibbi informed Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) that he and Schellenberger had observed in the Twitter Files that Twitter executives had failed to distinguish between particular government agencies, such as the Election Integrity Partnership and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) (EIP).
Plaskett charged Taibbi with deceiving members of Congress and the general public in relation to a specific tweet the independent journalist published the morning of the hearing, in which Taibbi claimed that the EIP collaborated with the CISA to ask social media companies to remove millions of tweets of alleged disinformation from their platforms.
In the tweet Plaskett cited, Taibbi made a mistake by using the erroneous acronym for two organizations that are said to have provided Twitter with information regarding content moderation.
During his discussion with MSNBC, Taibbi admitted the error.