WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Representative Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and more than 170 Republican colleagues sent a letter led by Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-15) to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security regarding the establishment of its Disinformation Governance Board.

In their letter, the signatories outlined three primary concerns with creation of the Board. First, they expressed ethical concerns about an organization charged with securing the homeland engaging in activities that could impact speech. Second, the members pointed out Department is overstepping its authority as a domestically focused organization by creating a board that would distract from its existing missions—especially during the ongoing border crisis. Third, the members highlighted their alarm with the appointment of Nina Jankowicz, a self-proclaimed “internationally-recognized expert on disinformation” to head up the board. [1] They expressed concern with Ms. Jankowicz’s questionable judgment on matters of disinformation and freedom of speech. [2] For these reasons, the signatories requested DHS to respond to the following questions thirty days from the date of receipt of this letter.

Under what legal authority is DHS creating this Disinformation Governance Board?

What is the Board’s specific directive and mission? What authorities will it have under the Department?

How does this Board help DHS protect the homeland from threats? Why is DHS putting valuable resources toward a mission that it appears to have no equity in when there is an ongoing crisis at our southern border?

Why was Ms. Jankowicz chosen to head this Board? Who were the other candidates considered for this position? What qualifications and vetting procedures did the Department utilize when determining who would head up the Disinformation Governance Board?

“Secretary Mayorkas should be ashamed of his blatant attempt to undermine our Constitution while ignoring his responsibility to keep Americans safe by securing our Southern Border,” said Rep. Westerman. “Mayorkas’ truth ‘experts’ have no right to police the speech of our citizens and Americans will not tolerate such an obvious infringement of their rights.”