During the committee hearing, Republican Rep. Harriet Hageman probed the FBI director about the involvement of the FBI "by proxy" in shutting down free speech of American citizens online.
Hageman said that it was "established that the FBI and other federal agencies met weekly with executives from major social media companies including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Yahoo and Verizon" in recent years.
She continued by saying the Committee "has learned that the FBI acted to 'discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published.'"
Multiple requests from the FBI went to Twitter "to take action on election misinformation even involving joke tweets from low follower accounts," according to findings from the Judiciary Committee
Wray said that he did "not agree" with the Committee's findings.
Hageman pushed Wary more, saying that he knows the "federal government is forbidden from doing indirectly what it cannot do directly."
"Neither you nor the FBI have any legal authority to circumvent the First Amendment by using a surrogate to do your dirty work. Yet that is exactly what you have been doing," Hageman continued. "Were you the person who gave the orders to use these social media companies to violated American's First Amendment rights?"
Again, Wray disagreed and said Hageman mischaracterized the FBI's "engagement with social media companies."
"I don't believe that's what we did... I [can't] help what people believe or not, I can only speak to what the facts are," Wray concluded.
Hageman then asked if anyone at the FBI has been reprimanded or held accountable for the actions taken on the social media platforms.
Wray responded that the FBI put together guidelines for people in the organization. In terms of specifics, Wray said, "I am not going to speak to personnel matters because we have not made any such determination at this stage."
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