Watch: Heated feud erupts as Dan Goldman battles Jim Jordan at contentious ‘weaponization’ hearing
Jim Jordan / Gage Skidmore

Near the end of the House "weaponization" hearing on Thursday, newly-elected Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) called out Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for claiming the hearings are about the First Amendment when he's refusing to talk about Republicans around the country working to ban books.

"You said this committee is all about protecting the First Amendment," Goldman said.

When he mentioned the government officials banning books, though he didn't specifically cite Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has been pushing restrictions on books in schools and public libraries. Jordan banged his gavel.

"And we are not talking about —" Goldman continued.

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"Will the gentleman yield?" Jordan asked.

"No, I will not," Goldman continued. "And we are not talking about Donald Trump jailing his former counsel to prohibit him from publishing a book that the president didn't like."

Goldman's reference is to Michael Cohen, who was in prison at the time for campaign finance and other charges when the COVID crisis hit. He, along with other non-violent offenders, got the option to be released on house arrest. When given the opportunity, he was told he would only be released if he signed a nondisclosure agreement and agreed that he would never write a book or speak to the press. Cohen refused and was put back in prison. He and the ACLU sued, and won, with the judge issuing a blistering statement.

"The former president literally jailed his enemy and we're here talking about Twitter! Twitter!" Goldman exclaimed. "And even with Twitter, you cannot find actual evidence of any direct government censorship of any lawful speech. And when I say lawful, I mean non-criminal speech. Because plenty of speech is non-criminal."

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"I'll give you one!" Jordan fired back. "Gentleman's time has expired. I seek unanimous consent to enter into the record the following email from Clarke Humphrey, executive office of the White House office of the presidency, White House office, Jan. 23, 2021, that's the Biden administration, 4:39 a.m. 'Hey folks,' this goes to, um, Twitter. 'Hey folks, wanted to,' used the term Mr. Goldman just used, 'Wanted to flag the below tweet, and I'm wondering if we can get moving on the process for having it removed ASAP?'"

Goldman asked him to read the tweet, but Jordan ignored it.

The same staffer was cited in a message to Instagram complaining about an account called "Anthony Fauci Official." He told the social media giant that the account wasn't the official account for Fauci or any other government office. While social media companies allow for parody accounts, they must be marked as such and cannot pretend to be that official.

Republicans at the time called it "ripped from the playbook of Stalin."

Jordan went on to say that Humphrey asked for other tweets in that same vein to also be removed.

"Just for the fullness of the record can you read the, because I've not seen this, can you read the tweet that it's referencing?" Goldman asked again.

"I don't have the tweet here with me," Jordan confessed.

"Shocking," Goldman said sarcastically.

"You said that at no time did government try to tell Twitter to explicitly remove something," Jordan said, which Goldman took issue with.

"No, I said lawful speech," Goldman explained. "Lawful speech. We're gonna conflate the First Amendment is not absolute."

"This is something from Robert Kennedy Jr.," Jordan continued.

"For the record, as a point of order, Mr. Chairman —" another voice interjected as Goldman spoke out.

"Lawful speech!" Goldman said again.

"All I'm saying is you said at no time did the government explicitly ask that a tweet be taken down. Here it is!" Jordan said. "They couldn't even wait two days! Two days in this administration!"

Jordan ultimately said that Robert Kennedy Jr. was talking about Hank Aaron's death after he received a vaccine.

The tweet reads: “Aaron’s tragic death is part of a wave of suspicious deaths among elderly closely following administration of Covid vaccines." Kennedy Jr. also told people that Bill Gates wanted to microchip everyone.

Aaron died in his sleep, according to his family, at 86 years old, on Jan. 22, 2021, the day before the email. The Fulton County, Georgia, medical examiner labeled the death as "natural causes." Kennedy, an infamous anti-vaccine activist, was disputed at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) asked for unanimous consent to enter the actual tweet into the record.

Jordan has run up against the facts on a number of issues in the committee, including his so-called FBI whistleblowers that were given cash by Trump allies after coming forward.

See the video below or at the link here.

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