Senator: “Ministry of Truth” director faces JAIL for illegal creation of disinformation board

(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty says the creation of a board within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked with combating “disinformation” is likely illegal.

Creating the board and hiring its new director without Congressional authorization violates several federal laws, Hagerty, R-Tenn., argues. Knowingly and willfully violating one of them carries a $5,000 fine and up to two years in prison, he adds.

Hagerty sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas saying his “actions merit review by Congress, both as a general matter, as well as under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and because the actions may be in violation of provisions of the Antideficiency Act.”

He told Mayorkas that “you will comply with the requirements” of the CRA when it comes to the creation of DHS’ disinformation board because the law requires “any agency action that falls within the definition of a ‘rule’ must be submitted to Congress for review before it can take effect.”

Creating the board and hiring its new director, Nina Jankowicz, “may also be a direct violation of provisions of the Antideficiency Act,” Hagerty wrote. The law prohibits “making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law.”

Federal funding available for the board and for Jankowicz’s salary “is ‘none,’” he said, because “Congress explicitly defunded it, just weeks ago.”

Citing a section of the fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Hagerty said the law “specifically prohibits the Secretary of Homeland Security from using any funds provided by Congress to carry out Section 872 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which means it defunded any action to ‘allocate or reallocate functions among the officers of the Department of Homeland Security or to establish, consolidate, or alter organizational units within the Department of Homeland Security.’”

Hagerty also put Mayorkas on notice, writing: “As you know, an officer or employee, including you, who violates the Antideficiency Act ‘shall be subject to appropriate administrative discipline,’ and, for willful violations, faces a criminal fine, imprisonment, or both.