Kennedy, who has been banned at times by social media companies for spreading misinformation about vaccines, is one of the panel members invited by Republicans to the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on federal armaments for an investigation into censorship. The hours-long affair often turned to Democrats attacking Kennedy as Republicans defended their decision to give a key platform to President Biden’s rival.
“This is why Mr. Kennedy is running for president — to help us expose and stop what’s going on,” said Rep. In his opening remarks, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) cited an incident in which the White House asked Twitter to remove Kennedy’s racially charged post. About Corona Virus Vaccines.
Tel. Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands), the top Democrat on the panel, used her opening statement to describe several controversies Kennedy has generated, including his recent suggestion that the coronavirus could be “racially targeted” to save Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.
Blaskett said Republicans “deliberately chose to elevate this rhetoric to give a platform on the floor of the United States Congress for these pernicious, dangerous scenes.” “There’s no question why they’re making the choice. It’s not to protect free speech or to ensure equality for all. It’s all about … showing us over and over again by their behavior that any attack on Joe Biden is what they have to do to get Donald Trump back in the White House.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine supporter, filed to run for president
There were many exchanges during the trial.
Democrats cited several of Kennedy’s past statements, including an episode in early 2022 in which he invoked Anne Frank, in which Jews had more freedom during the Holocaust than Americans to decide not to vaccinate. Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp after spending two years hiding with his family in a secret compound in their Amsterdam home.
Kennedy apologized shortly after making his comments, but responded angrily during Thursday’s hearing when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked if he stood by what he said.
“Congressman, you are lying,” said Kennedy.
“I’m a congresswoman,” Wasserman Schultz said before cutting off Kennedy.
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s son, President John F. Kennedy, Kennedy’s son-in-law, tried to defend himself by saying that Democrats were smearing him and that the media and others had misrepresented many of his earlier controversial statements.
“If the comments that you and others have made against me, and attributed to me, are actually true, I can see why I would not be able to testify here today,” Kennedy said.
Although Kennedy is second to Biden in the Democratic primary polls, better-than-expected showings in early nominating states could help embarrass the incumbent — a prospect Republicans will relish.
Underscoring the political nature of the investigation, other witnesses called by Republicans include Emma-Jo Morris, now a journalist at Breitbart News who wrote extensively on Hunter Biden’s laptop for the New York Post; and Louisiana Department of Justice Special Assistant Attorney General D. John Sauer, who was involved in a case that prevented the Biden administration from working with social media companies to monitor misinformation.
Another witness, Maya Wiley, president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, was frequently called by Democrats to refute Kennedy’s claims.
Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is quick to dismiss.
Democrats have urged Jordan not to call Kennedy to testify — an invitation House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rejected this week, even after Kennedy’s comments that the coronavirus could have been bioengineered to “attack Caucasians and black people.”
“I don’t agree with everything he said,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol. “The question we have this week is about censorship. I don’t think censoring somebody is really the answer here.
From the beginning, it was clear that Republicans treated Kennedy differently from other witnesses.
While Jordan gave a brief introduction of the other three witnesses, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) gave a thorough briefing on Kennedy, noting his past work on the environment and his meeting with President Donald Trump on vaccine safety.
Seated in the front row of the audience was Kennedy’s campaign manager, former Congressman Dennis J. Roy also gave a shout-out to Kucinich (D-Ohio).
Jordan had originally planned to give Kennedy 10 minutes, while the other witnesses were given five. He relented after Democrats protested.
During his remarks, Kennedy sent a letter from Democrats requesting that he recuse himself from testifying.
“I spent my life in this party. I have dedicated my life to this party,” said Kennedy. “This is an attempt to censor the investigation.”
Throughout the trial, Democrats sought to undermine Kennedy’s credibility.
“As far as I know, he has no specific education or training in medicine,” said Rep. Linda D. Sanchez (D-Calif.) said. “He is not an epidemiologist, a study of infectious diseases. He does not conduct clinical trials in a professional setting. He does not conduct scientific research in a professional laboratory and publish scientific findings in a peer-reviewed publication.