A House Democrat has threatened journalist Matt Taibbi with imprisonment over his testimony before Congress last month in connection with the Twitter Files.
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) in a letter to Taibbi alleges his March 9 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Weaponization “has since been revealed to be false and misleading.”
Plaskett’s threat to imprison a journalist drew instant rebuke and at least one call for her to resign.
“Lawmakers should not be sending these kinds of letters to journalists. Ironic this is from a ‘weaponization’ committee member,” media journalist and former Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter tweeted.
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The Intercept’s Ryan Grim tweeted: "Dem Rep. Stacey Plaskett is threatening @mtaibbi with prison over his Twitter Files testimony. The testimony is actually accurate-though she's referring to an error in a tweet that's been corrected. That's beside the point: To call for a reporter to be jailed is beyond the pale."
Grim in a reply called for the congresswoman’s resignation.
“She should resign from Congress for this and at minimum should be removed from the committee. The press is not the enemy of the people and threatening reporters with prison -- especially as we work to free Evan in Moscow -- is reckless and dangerous,” he tweeted.
The letter, addressed March 13, cites an error Taibbi admitted to during an April 6 appearance on the Medhi Hasan Show on MSNBC among his chief transgressions.
“During that interview, Mr. Hasan pointed out that your March 9 tweet added a parenthetical [A] to the acronym CIS, changing the meaning of the term from ‘Center for Internet Security’ —a private organization —to ‘Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,” Plaskett’s letter said.
“This mistake is important because, by adding an ‘A,’ you weren’t making a harmless spelling error. Rather, you were alleging that CISA – a government entity—was working with the EIP to have posts removed from social media. When presented with this misinformation, you acknowledged that you had made ‘an error’ by intentionally altering the acronym CIS and you subsequently deleted your erroneous tweet.”
She further alleged the Griftopia author’s reporting to be "rife with numerous other false or misleading claims.”
“I would like to provide you with an opportunity to correct the hearing record to ensure accuracy in a congressional hearing and so that the public and their representatives are not misled,” her letter said.