(PatriotWise.com)- According to Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty, the establishment of a DHS board to combat “disinformation” is undoubtedly unlawful.
Creating the board and appointing a new director without congressional approval violates several laws. One of them is punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to two years in jail.
Hagerty wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, saying that under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the DHS Misinformation Board may be subject to congressional review.
He assured Mayorkas that the DHS misinformation board will have to comply with the CRA’s criteria because “any agency action that meets the definition of a ‘rule’ must be submitted to Congress for consideration before taking effect.”
Hagerty said that the board’s creation and new director, Nina Jankowicz, may also violate the Antideficiency Act. Unless otherwise permitted by law, “making or approving an expenditure from, or establishing or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund” is illegal.
He said that congress officially defunded it only weeks ago, referring to the board and Jankowicz’s pay.
According to Hagerty, the fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act “specifically prohibits the Secretary of Homeland Security from using any funds provided by Congress to carry out Section 872 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which means it defunded any action to ‘allocate or reallocate functions among officers of the Department of Homeland Security or to establish, consolidate, or alter organizational units within the Department of Homeland Security.’”
Hagerty wrote to Mayorkas that he should be well aware that an officer or employee who breaches the Antideficiency Act ‘shall be subject to appropriate administrative discipline. Intentional violations of the Antideficiency Act “must be subject to an appropriate administrative penalty, including suspension without pay or removal from office.” A government employee who breaches it “knowingly and willingly” faces a $5,000 fine, two years in jail, or both.
Mayorkas went on television last weekend and appeared before the Senate on Wednesday, following widespread condemnation of the DHS misinformation board.
DHS also released a fact sheet regarding its internal working group on disinformation.
The fact sheet stated that disinformation spread by foreign powers such as Russia, China, and Iran is the focus. In times of national emergency, unscrupulous actors typically propagate disinformation to exploit vulnerable people and the American public.
Many Americans expressing their right to free expression are “disinformation launderers,” according to Mayorkas. He even classified Loudon County, Virginia, parents who opposed curriculum being taught to their children as “disinformers” involved in “disinformation for profit.”
Twenty attorneys general urged Mayorkas shut down the DHS’ misinformation board, or working group, claiming it was unconstitutional, unlawful, and un-American. If he doesn’t, they’ll sue.
Hagerty gave Mayorkas until May 16 to submit to Congress the rules and policies the DHS disinformation board would implement. He also instructed Mayorkas to submit a letter to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, President Joe Biden, Congress, and the Comptroller General of the United States that includes specific information about “the violation if it has indeed occurred.”
For an agency dedicated to combatting the spread of disinformation, they have been pretty opaque about their intentions and how they will implement them.