Democratic Delegate Threatens To Jail Taibbi Over Reporting Error

A Democratic Delegate in the U.S. Congress threatened Matt Taibbi, one of the “Twitter Files” journalists, with jail time over an alleged mistake in his reporting.

The “Twitter Files” are a series of Twitter documents that became public under CEO Elon Musk and journalists Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Lee Fang, as well as authors Michael Shellenberger, David Zweig, and Alex Berenson. The files reveal how Twitter engaged in free speech suppression under its previous ownership.

The New York Post reported that Del. Stacey Plaskett, a nonvoting member of Congress for the Virgin Islands, wrote a letter to Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi over an error in his reporting involving Taibbi’s use of the acronym CISA, which he used while referencing the Center for Internet Freedom (CIS). CISA is the acronym for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Plaskett referred to Taibbi’s mistake of indirectly referencing CISA by accusing him of lying about a government agency.

“This mistake is important because, by adding an ‘A,’ you weren’t making a harmless spelling error,” Plaskett wrote. “Rather, you were alleging that CISA — a government entity — was working with the EIP [Election Integrity Partnership] to have posts removed from social media.”

“When presented with this misinformation, you acknowledged you had made ‘an error’ by intentionally altering the acronym CIS and you subsequently deleted your erroneous tweet,” Plaskett added.

Plaskett declared that Taibbi likely committed perjury because of his mistake, citing that, before his congressional testimony on March 9, 2023, Taibbi acknowledged that “knowingly providing material false information to this committee/subcommittee or knowingly concealing material information from this committee/subcommittee, is a crime (18 U.S.C. 1001).”

“Under the federal perjury statute, 18 U.S.C. 1621, proving false information is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment,” Plaskett threatened.

Taibbi testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, explaining how he obtained his role in releasing the “Twitter Files.”

During his testimony, Plaskett referred to Taibbi and Shellenberger as “so-called journalists” while demanding they reveal their sources to the committee. Taibbi countered Plaskett’s claim by listing his awards and detailing his journalistic resume.

Since being granted access to the “Twitter Files,” Taibbi has become subjected to investigations by governmental officials and agencies. In March 2023, the Federal Trade Commission ordered Musk to “identify all journalists” who accessed the files.

It also was revealed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) visited Taibbi’s home while he was testifying in Congress about the “Twitter Files.” The agency reportedly left a note at the house, instructing Taibbi to call the bureau within four days. When he did, an agent informed him that his 2018 and 2021 tax returns were rejected because of “identity theft concerns.”