REPORTED BY DIANA GLEBOVA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR | May 19, 2022
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hired the co-author of the PATRIOT Act, arguably the harshest crackdown on civil liberties in modern American history, and an official under former President Bill Clinton to head the Disinformation Governance Board during its “pause.”
The DHS shut the board down Monday after just several weeks and its head, Nina Jankowicz, wrote a resignation letter Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. Jankowicz was scrutinized for pushing disinformation about Hunter Biden’s laptop and the now-discredited Steele Dossier, which Daniel Hoffman, a former CIA officer, said was possibly “part of a Russian espionage disinformation plot.” She also called Republicans who criticize critical race theory (CRT) “disinformers.” Videos of her singing as the “Mary Poppins of disinformation,” “fucking her way to the top” and satirical, sexualized renditions of Harry Potter themes have also raised eyebrows.
The department announced Wednesday former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and former U.S. Deputy Secretary General Jamie Gorelick under Clinton “will lead a thorough review and assessment” of the board that was “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized.” (RELATED: White House Responds To Disinfo Board Being ‘Paused’)
Chertoff reportedly pushed disinformation about Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, claiming Russians were behind the emails found inside, according to the Free Beacon. Chertoff served as the secretary of the DHS from 2005-2009, investigated the 9/11 attacks and co-authored the PATRIOT Act, which gave the government authority to tap phones to surveil for terrorism and conduct searches without a warrant.
Gorelick worked for the Clinton administration and was a member of the 9/11 Commission. She was also reportedly rumored to be failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s top choice for attorney general, and has worked for a wide range of clients, including Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, BP after its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Duke University after three lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape.
The review of the Disinformation Governance Board will determine how the board can monitor disinformation while “protecting free speech, civil rights, civil liberties and privacy” and how it can increase “transparency” with the public. It will be conducted by the “bipartisan Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).”
A number of Republicans raised the alarm about the establishment of the board and Jankowicz’s past of being partisan to conservatives. Former DHS officials under the Trump administration agreed, saying the board was unneeded and “politicized” battling disinformation. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Blackburn, Trump Intelligence Officer Warn Biden’s Disinformation Board Will Come After Conservatives)
“The creation of the ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ in the Secretary’s office is unneeded and politicizes the Department’s mission. There is no operational reason to take this responsibility from largely non-political operating components and move this mission to the Secretary’s office filled with political appointees, including a politically charged individual with no government experience. The move represents a further politicization of the Department under this Administration,” Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of the DHS, told the Daily Caller.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that there was “no question” that they “could’ve done a better job at communicating” what the board does when it was announced. (RELATED: ‘I Was Not Aware’: Mayorkas Says He Didn’t Know About Truth Czar’s Viral Videos)
The rollout of the board was “half-baked” and that the DHS got “ahead of themselves when they mentioned it in” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ testimony April 27, a congressional staffer told the Daily Caller News Foundation.