Josh Hawley, a Republican Senator from Missouri, was quick to put the new Biden administration’s national Archivist nominee in the hot seat this week because of her highly partisan posts on social media.
As part opf a recently held hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Hawley made it a point to heavily question Dr. Colleen Shogan, the nominee in question, for her heavily partisan tweets that she recently authored in which she heavily criticized Republican politicians and their COVID policies. Shogan attempted to quickly lock down her Twitter account when she ended up getting the nomination to head up the National Archives and Records Administration, but failed to do so fast enough it seems, as Hawley was able to secure a number of posts from the account anyway. Frustrated due to the fact that the nominee repeatedly refused to give any sort of statement or answers for odd tweets, Hawley went off on Shogan for her extreme stonewalling.
“I asked you to provide the public posts that had previously been available on Twitter because the ones that we have were pretty disturbing” Hawley stated to kick things off. “You responded as follows, and I quote, ‘My personal Twitter account is comprised of posts about my mystery novels, events at the White House Historical Association, Pittsburgh sports teams, travels and my dog.’ Is this an accurate statement?”
At first, Hawley spotlighted one post that was made by Shogan back in February of last year in which they complained about the fact that the masking mandates had been taken down for all kids under the age of five. He then asked if such highly political statements were characteristic of what would be found on her normal Twitter feed. “My social media is in my personal capacity,” stated Shogan in response.
“Answer my question, please, because you’ve testified under oath that you only posted about your dog, and sports teams and novels, and you also said you wouldn’t give this committee any of your public posts,” shot back Hawley. But once again Shogan openly refused to take responsibility for the posts that she made, forcing Hawley to press once again. “You are under oath before this committee, and I have to say, you have placed this issue squarely in record by repeatedly refusing to answer,” he expressed.
After that, Hawley made reference to one post which was retweeted by Shogan that called for a total ban on so-called assault weapons. He also spotlighted another post on Twitter that she made in 2021 in which she stated that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz “ought to stay in his lane and not worry about what’s going on in Pittsburgh,” seemingly a reference to the investigations surrounding the 2020 elections. He then nodded to a post from December 2020 wishing that former President Trump would see his previous vetoes overridden and labeling him a “weak policy president.” He also highlighted another post that was made on January 5, 2021, seemingly claiming that he would just pardon himself for attempting to overturn an election.
In the end, an angry Hawley finally put an end to the questioning. “I have to say, I have been here for four years in the Senate,” he stated. “I have never seen a witness stonewall like this before. Never. And I’ve seen a lot. This is extraordinary. … I mean, this is unbelievable, and you want to be the archivist of the United States. You lied to us under oath, you lied to us in your [Questions for the Record], you just lied to me a second ago under oath, and now you’re sitting here stonewalling, not answering questions about public posts that you’ve made.”
“Mr. Chairman, I have to tell you, this is the most extraordinary thing I have seen in my brief time in the Senate,” finished Hawley. “I have never seen a witness blatantly lie under oath like Dr. Shogan has just done to this committee, stonewalled this committee, and just repeatedly refused to answer my questions about her own posts that are in public. For these reasons, I will oppose your nomination and I strongly, strongly urge this committee to take action on this and force this witness to own up to the fact that she is misleading us right now before our eyes.”