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FIRST ON FOX: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is calling the Department of Homeland Security’s creation of a Disinformation Governance Board a “blatant attempt” to silence political opponents of the Biden administration — amid growing GOP pushback to the board.
In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Brnovich says the creation of the board and the pick of Nina Jankowicz to lead it, “may be one of the greatest threats to our Constitution that we have experienced in generations.”
“Your actions come at a time when President Biden is under increasing scrutiny and appropriate criticism for his failed policies, and when state officials (like myself) are winning in the courts of legal and public opinion,” he writes.
“This new board is simply a blatant attempt by the Biden administration to recreate and distort the narrative to silence political opposition,” he says. “But make no mistake — your idea cannot pass the smell test — let alone Constitutional muster.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the House Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Washington. ((AP Photo/Evan Vucci))
Mayorkas announced during testimony Wednesday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security that DHS had created a Disinformation Governance Board to combat online disinformation.
“The goal is to bring the resources of (DHS) together to address this threat,” Mayorkas said during the hearing, adding that the department is focused on the spread of disinformation in minority communities ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
That announcement sparked outrage, which grew when it was reported that Nina Jankowicz, a former “disinformation fellow” at the Woodrow Wilson Center, was selected to be the executive director of the disinformation board.
Jankowicz has repeatedly pushed claims on Twitter that have later been found to be completely false or misleading, including questioning the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s laptop and saying it should be viewed as a “Trump campaign product” and called the story about the Delaware laptop repair shop a “fairy tale.” She also hyped up Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the discredited 2016 dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Over the weekend, Mayorkas was pressed on the disinformation board and told “Fox News Sunday” that he “could have done a better job in communicating what it does” and said the board specifically addresses “disinformation that presents a security threat to the homeland.” He went on to defend Jankowicz and said that he doesn’t “question her objectivity.”
Brnovich, calling the board “reminiscent of communist or totalitarian regimes,” said Jankowicz “has already proven that she will be anything BUT a fair and unbiased arbiter of government-approved truth.”
Brnovich also hinted at potential litigation in his lawsuit, as he suggested that the board is unconstitutional as it violates the First Amendment. Brnovich and a number of other Republican AGs have won lawsuits targeting the Biden administration’s policies, and have expressed willingness to launch further legal action.
“Americans will not stand for this egregious overreach of the federal government’s Constitutional bounds,” he said.
Brnovich also pushed Mayorkas to focus instead on the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
“With record fentanyl and other drug deaths rising and terrorists being apprehended attempting to enter our country, I urge you to abandon the Disinformation Governance Board and refocus your resources on securing our southern border and keeping Americans safe,” he wrote.
Fox News’ Cameron Cawthorne and Kelly Laco contributed to this report.