The declare: Video shows Tom Cotton questioning Merrick Garland about Hunter Biden’s laptop
“WHERE’S THE LAPTOP!” the caption reads. “Tom Cotton DESTROYS Garland with LEAKED DOCUMENTS from Hunter Biden’s Laptop.”
The video was seen greater than 90,000 instances in per week.
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Our score: False
The video shows Cotton asking questions on a Justice Division memo promising to handle a “rise in prison conduct” in school board conferences. He does not ask about or allege something about Biden or recordsdata from his laptop. The miscaptioned video is an instance of a development in misinformation generally known as “false framing.”
Committee hearing coated DOJ memo about college board conduct
The video within the Fb put up shows a part of an Oct. 27, 2021, meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The assembly was about oversight of the Justice Division, focusing on a department memo on threats against school officials.
The memo was prompted partially by a letter from the Nationwide College Boards Affiliation, which known as for utilizing the Justice Division, Division of Homeland Safety, its Nationwide Menace Evaluation Middle and different federal companies to cease “threats and acts of violence” in opposition to college officers throughout college board conferences. The affiliation apologized for the letter within the days earlier than the judiciary hearing.
Within the 8-minute, 22-second clip, Cotton aggressively questions Garland concerning the origin of the memo and argues it’s an overreach that unfairly targets mother and father who converse out in school board conferences. A video of the exchange was posted to Cotton’s official YouTube account.
Garland defended the memo, saying the division was merely providing assist and help to highschool officers dealing with threats or violence.
At no level within the video does Cotton even point out Biden or his laptop. The pc figures prominently in House investigations that started in February 2023 into the enterprise dealings of Biden, the president’s son.
Mike Caulfield, a analysis scientist on the College of Washington’s Middle for an Knowledgeable Public, beforehand informed USA TODAY the method works in two methods. First, customers are likely to belief a put up that options genuine footage from what they acknowledge as a reputable supply. This fashion of misinformation then exploits how customers typically scroll previous the video with the hold forth, by no means realizing that the caption doesn’t match what the video shows.
USA TODAY reached out to the person who shared the put up for remark.
Our fact-check sources:
Sen. Tom Cotton (YouTube), Oct. 27, 2021, Senator Cotton Q&A During Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Oct. 27, 2021, Oversight of the Department of Justice FULL COMMITTEE HEARING
Workplace of the Legal professional Basic, Oct. 4, 2021, Memo on addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff
Mike Caulfield, Oct. 18, 2022, E-mail interview with USA TODAY
USA TODAY, Oct. 27, 2021, ‘We did not sic the FBI on parents’: Attorney General Merrick Garland defends school memo
USA TODAY, Nov. 4, 2022, Fact check: Video shows House GOP criticizing Jan. 6 committee, not laughing at Liz Cheney
Politico, Oct. 25, 2021, School board group backtracks on letter for security help from DOJ
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Our fact-check work is supported partially by a grant from Fb.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Video shows hearing on DOJ memo, not Hunter Biden’s laptop