Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S. Virgin Islands) got into several testy exchanges as they heard from witnesses – “Twitter Files” journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger – at a House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing on Thursday.
The hearing follows Twitter head Elon Musk’s leak of internal records to right-leaning writers in 2022 that looked – in part – to supposedly unveil the platform’s work with federal agencies to muffle conservative viewpoints.
Plaskett, who blasted Republicans for bringing Musk’s “public scribes” to the hearing, called out the witnesses for posing “a direct threat to people who oppose them.”
She highlighted a video of former Twitter trust and safety head Yoel Roth who, in a testimony, said he had to leave his home after threats and stories that revealed his address.
“This is a new Republican playbook, apparently – risk Americans’ safety and security to score political points,” said Plaskett.
Jordan, later in the hearing, called the writers brave for showing up to the hearing in the wake of being named in a Biden administration F.T.C. letter.
The Republican, when asked by Plaskett if it was his “question time,” said he was responding to her “ridiculous statement” before the Democrat went back after him.
“Ok, well let’s get on with it,” Plaskett replied.
“Oh, now we wanna get on with it? You can say all the things you want and I can say…,” Jordan responded before the two devolved into back-and-forth.
Plaskett later took a dig at Jordan after he claimed he wanted to focus on protecting the First Amendment.
“Point of order, Mr. Chair. Are you gonna respond after everything?” Plaskett asked.
“I’m taking my five minutes,” Jordan said.
“Oh, it’s your five minutes now?” Plaskett asked.
“I’m taking my five minutes when I want to and I’m taking my five minutes now,” Jordan replied.
“OK, great,” Plaskett responded.
You can watch more clips from the two’s tense exchanges below.