Letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security - Bice Sends Letter Demanding Answers on DHS 'Disinformation Governance Board'


By: Carol Miller, Alex Mooney, David McKinley, Mike Gallagher, Tom Tiffany, Glenn Grothman, Scott Fitzgerald, Bryan Steil, Dan Newhouse, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Morgan Griffith, Ben Cline, Bob Good, Rob Wittman, Burgess Owens, Blake Moore, Brian Babin, Michael Cloud, Michael Burgess, Roger Williams, Beth Van Duyne, Tony Gonzales, Troy Nehls, Jodey Arrington, Pete Sessions, Randy Weber, Sr., Ronny Jackson, August Pfluger, Michael McCaul, Kevin Brady, Jake Ellzey, Lance Gooden, Pat Fallon, Van Taylor, Dan Crenshaw, David Kustoff, Mark Green, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Burchett, Diana Harshbarger, Dusty Johnson, Ralph Norman, Jr., Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Sr., Nancy Mace, GT Thompson, Jr., Guy Reschenthaler, John Joyce, Fred Keller, Scott Perry, Dan Meuser, Brian Fitzpatrick, Cliff Bentz, Frank Lucas, Markwayne Mullin, Kevin Hern, Mike Carey, Dave Joyce, Troy Balderson, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Bob Latta, Jim Jordan, Brad Wenstrup, Chris Jacobs, John Katko, Claudia Tenney, Elise Stefanik, Nicole Malliotakis, Andrew Garbarino, Lee Zeldin, Mark Amodei, Yvette Herrell, Jeff Van Drew, Adrian Smith, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Patrick McHenry, Dan Bishop, Richard Hudson, Jr., Virginia Foxx, Greg Murphy, Matt Rosendale, Steven Palazzo, Michael Guest, Jason Smith, Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Peter Stauber, Michelle Fischbach, Tom Emmer, Tim Walberg, John Moolenaar, Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, Garret Graves, Julia Letlow, Mike Johnson, Clay Higgins, Steve Scalise, Andy Barr, Thomas Massie, Brett Guthrie, Ron Estes, Jacob LaTurner, Tracey Mann, Trey Hollingsworth III, Greg Pence, Victoria Spartz, Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Jackie Walorski, Darin LaHood, Mary Miller, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, Robin Kelly, Mike Simpson, Russ Fulcher, Randy Feenstra, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ashley Hinson, Rick Allen, Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice, Austin Scott, Drew Ferguson, Buddy Carter, Maria Salazar, Carlos Gimenez, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donalds, Brian Mast, Greg Steube, Vern Buchanan, Scott Franklin, Gus Bilirakis, Daniel Webster, Bill Posey, Michael Waltz, John Rutherford, Kat Cammack, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, Lauren Boebert, Darrell Issa, Michelle Steel, Ken Calvert, Young Kim, Mike Garcia, Kevin McCarthy, David Valadao, Jay Obernolte, Tom McClintock, Doug LaMalfa, Debbie Lesko, David Schweikert, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Bruce Westerman, Rick Crawford, Gary Palmer, Mo Brooks, Robert Aderholt, Barry Moore, Stephanie Bice
Date: May 5, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Secretary Mayorkas,

We write to you to express concerns about the newly created "Disinformation Governance Board" within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which you announced last week.1 The creation of this Board is problematic for several reasons.

First, we have ethical concerns about an organization charged with securing the homeland engaging in anything that could have an impact on speech. We believe that the Disinformation Governance Board could be utilized as a political tool under the guise of security. This has the potential to severely undermine the American people's confidence in the Department, especially as we enter the 2022 election season.

Second, the Department's primary mission sets are countering terrorism, securing the border, securing cyberspace and infrastructure, upholding economic security, strengthening resilience, and strengthening DHS itself. 2 Traditionally, combatting misinformation has been a foreign mission relegated to the elements of the intelligence community with equities in foreign operations. As a domestically focused Department, we are concerned that DHS is overstepping its authority with the creation of this Board. DHS has developed a stalwart reputation as a defender of the homeland primarily because it has focused on these mission sets and has remained non-partisan in achieving them. Implementing something as vague as a "Disinformation Governance Board" will distract from these mission sets and potentially tarnish the non-partisan reputation the Department has developed since its founding.

Additionally, during your testimony last week, you claimed the Biden administration has "effectively managed" the border crisis.3 Meanwhile, the policies of the current administration have resulted in over 1.5 million border encounters in the last six months, which is the largest in our nation's history.4 We are concerned that the Disinformation Governance Board will distract from this crisis.

Third, we are concerned with the appointment of Nina Jankowicz as the head of this Board. Ms. Jankowicz has, on several occasions, displayed questionable judgment on matters of disinformation and freedom of speech.5 For example, she has expressed support for Christopher Steele, author of the Steele Dossier. This document has long-since been discredited as one of its main sources was charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. Ms. Jankowicz has also cast doubt on the Hunter Biden laptop story, which she falsely claimed was "a Trump campaign product." 6

For these reasons, we request that you respond to the following questions thirty days from the date of receipt of this letter.
1. Under what legal authority is DHS creating this Disinformation Governance Board?
2. What is the Board's specific directive and mission? What authorities will it have under the Department?
3. 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?
4. 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?