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Former Biden Official Stumped When GOP Rep Asks Him To Explain ‘Tenets’ Of First Amendment

Former White House Director of Digital Strategy Robert Flaherty on Wednesday was unable to state the “five tenets of the First Amendment” when Florida Republican Rep. Kat Cammack asked him at a hearing on government censorship.

Flaherty joined President Joe Biden’s White House in Jan. 2021, and was involved in efforts to influence social media companies to censor certain viewpoints, particularly on issues of COVID-19 and vaccinations. Flaherty said he is familiar with the First Amendment, but could not recall the five tenets, which are “freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition,” according to United States Courts.


“Can you please outline the five tenets of the First Amendment for me?” Cammack asked.

“Congresswoman, I’m not gonna be able to do it off the top of my head, but generally the First Amendment relates to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly,” Flaherty said. “Off the top of my head, I’m not able to recall all of the planks.”

Flaherty sent an email in April 2021 to demand a Facebook employee censor Daily Caller News Foundation co-founder Tucker Carlson’s video about COVID-19 vaccines.

“Oof, well that’s disappointing and a little embarrassing, but not surprising considering what we’re dealing with here today,” Cammack said. “Now I certainly wouldn’t expect that someone who can’t outline the basic tenets of the First Amendment to uphold the First Amendment of which you took an oath to defend, but here we are today.”

Flaherty will be one of the leaders of the Biden campaign’s endeavors to combat “false narratives” during the 2024 election, Politico reported in September.

Flaherty told YouTube that he wanted to coordinate on the platform’s initiatives to crack down on vaccine-related content, according to emails posted by Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on X in November.

However, the Biden administration’s efforts to counter so-called misinformation went beyond Flaherty.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency had an advisory committee that issued recommendations to the agency in June 2022 about how to handle information risks to “critical functions” like public health, the financial system and elections. The subcommittee courted left-wing research groups and pro-censorship organizations in its efforts to counter perceived misinformation, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

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