GOP Senator Eric Schmitt Demands Resignation of Top Cybersecurity Official

Missouri v. Biden Lawsuit Prompts Call for DHS Cybersecurity Director Jennifer Easterly to Step Down

Missouri – Republican Senator Eric Schmitt of Missouri has called for the resignation of Jennifer Easterly, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

This demand comes in the wake of a preliminary injunction that prohibits government coordination with social media platforms to censor protected speech. The injunction, issued by a federal judge, found that officials likely violated the First Amendment.

In an interview with journalist Michael Shellenberger, Senator Schmitt expressed his stance and urged Easterly to step down from her prominent position at CISA. The injunction was the result of the case Missouri v. Biden, where the plaintiffs alleged that CISA, specifically Easterly, played a significant role in the Biden administration’s alleged censorship scheme. Notably, Senator Schmitt initiated the lawsuit against the Biden administration during his tenure as Missouri Attorney General.

“Jennifer Easterly ought to resign,” Schmitt said, adding, “no doubt about that. And I think that the people getting swept up in this now, who were engaged in it, they ought to be exposed, and there ought to be consequences.”

During the 2020 election, CISA facilitated “switchboards” that allowed state and local election officials to flag so-called misinformation, which would then be removed by social media platforms. A House Judiciary Committee report found the agency also used private surrogates to censor speech during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Center for Internet Security (CIS), a nonprofit that advocates solutions to help safeguard against online threats, collaborated with election officials and CISA on a “portal” to flag and censor social media “misinformation” during the 2020 general election, according to a CIS report independent journalist Lee Fang obtained in June.

Western District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty granted the injunction after finding plaintiffs in the free speech lawsuit Missouri v. Biden, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, had presented “evidence of a massive effort by Defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.”

The Tuesday injunction barred federal officials, including individuals in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from engaging with social media platforms for “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

“The level of coordination between senior government officials and senior social media executives is astounding,” Schmitt stated in the interview. “There were direct text messages from the surgeon general of the United States to senior Facebook officials saying, ‘Take this down.’ It’s just un-American.”

President Joe Biden’s administration appealed the injunction on Wednesday.

CISA, DHS, and Easterly did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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