Democratic Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett, “Twitter Files”, journalist Matt Taibbi sent a letter to him on April 13, demanding that he correct his Congressional testimony based upon a debunked claim from MSNBC host Mehdi Hazan.
Plaskett wrote Taibbi, claiming that the “information foundational to his testimony” had been proven to be “false and misleading”, based on an interview he gave on Hasan’s show on April 6. She wrote: “I’d like to give you an opportunity to correct any errors in the hearing record so that there is no misinformation of the public or their representatives during a congressional hearing.”
She was referring Hasan’s claim that Taibbi intentionally confused the Center for Internet Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in his “Twitter Files” reporting and subsequent testimony before Congress.
Hasan claimed on social media that Taibbi had “deliberately & knowingly misrepresented” his reporting in a tweet he sent out on March 9. He said Taibbi confounded CISA and CIS. Taibbi claimed that CISA collaborated with the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), but his reporting indicated CIS was involved. The tweet that contained the error has been removed.
Lee Fang is an independent journalist who has been following Twitter for a while. He was the first to obtain Plaskett’s original letter on Thursday. She released the letter in full on April 13, but did not reveal the complete version until Fang acquired the file. Fang had reported on April 11 that CISA and EIP shared a similar relationship based upon emails he received and public records.
“Hasan, in other words is wrong and presents an incredibly distorted view of how this process works. Fang wrote that Hasan’s video, and especially Taibbi’s testimony, was accurate in his Substack blog post of April 11.
Plaskett’s next letter appeared to be threatening Taibbi, implying that he would face prison time.
These instances raise serious concerns about possible inaccuracies of the testimony given to Congress. You admitted in your interview with Mehdi that you had gotten a thing or two wrong.
The federal perjury law, 18 U.S.C. False information can be punished by up to 5 years in prison under SS 1621. You must understand that it is important to ensure your testimony is accurate and true for all these reasons. “I look forward to receiving your response as soon as possible,” she concluded in her letter.
Fang and Hasan used to be colleagues at The Intercept. Hasan was employed there before being hired by MSNBC, in October 2020. Fang accused Hasan of plagiarism on April 18, accusing him of several acts.
Taibbi, along with independent journalist Michael Shellenberger, testified before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government on March 9, about the Twitter documents. Plaskett – the ranking member of select subcommittee – attacked Taibbi as a “so called journalist” and Shellenberger, an independent journalist, as posing a “direct danger” to their political rivals.