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June 22, 2022
EXCLUSIVE: Expect ‘More Censorship’ of Conservative Voices as Midterms Approach, Says Former Trump Counsel
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EXCLUSIVE: Expect ‘More Censorship’ of Conservative Voices as Midterms Approach, Says Former Trump Counsel

YouTube took down an Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate’s interview after she spoke about irregularities in the 2020 election

Arizona’s front-running Republican gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, has found her recent interview with talk show host Jenna Ellis taken down by YouTube on the grounds that it contains “misinformation” about the 2020 election.

“Content that advances the false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube,” stated YouTube’s May 20 email to Ellis, with no further elaboration.

The takedown of Kari Lake’s interview came during Lake’s run for Arizona governorship, in which she leads her Republican opponents by a comfortable margin in the polls with a 10.8 percent gap over the next candidate, Karrin Taylor Robson, according to an April survey by Trafalgar. The primary will be held on Aug. 2, and the governor’s race on Nov. 8.

Prior to Lake’s run for Arizona Governor, she was an anchor for Fox 10 News in Phoenix but “walked away from the mainstream media despite being number one in the ratings for more than two decades,” according to her website.

“The Political Swamp colludes with the Corrupt Tech Tyrants and the Propagandists in the Mainstream Media to silence any and all truth about our elections,” Lake told The Epoch Times in a statement on May 23 in response to the removal of her interview.

“It’s election interference,” said Ellis, former senior legal advisor and personal counsel to President Donald Trump, “But all of this the timing, of course, is directed toward November, and ultimately 2024.”

“And so for candidates like Kari Lake that refuse to be silenced on election integrity issues and things that are very concerning to conservatives, I think we’re going to see even more censorship before November,” Ellis added.

During the interview with Ellis, Lake spoke about some of the current issues she sees in the electoral system and called for lawmakers to make changes.

“Have we learned nothing in the last two years?” Lake said during the interview. “We know we have learned a lot: we learned that our elections are corrupt, that they found a way to cheat at every single level, and we haven’t corrected that.”

Findings from Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules movie, the investigation by True The Vote, and the Arizona forensic audit are “pure evidence that’s admissible in a court of law,” Lake said.

She said that lawmakers who haven’t worked to address issues surrounding election integrity “should be voted out of office.”

“One day all Americans will know the truth— that our elections were corrupt and stolen. They can try, but there’s nothing they can do to stop that,” Lake told The Epoch Times.

The Epoch Times has reached out to YouTube for comment.

Former Fox 10 news anchor Kari Lake said she will step down from the role on March 2, 2021. (Screenshot via rumble.com/KariLake)
Free Speech
Lawmakers and legal experts, including Ellis, have criticized big tech platforms for censoring right-leaning voices.

“While the First Amendment specifically prohibits government restraint of speech and the press, our founders certainly didn’t intend to create a society where censorship could be achieved by tech oligarchs either,” Ellis told The Epoch Times.

“Even if the censorship from YouTube and other platforms is not technically a violation of the constitution, it still goes against the fundamentally American value of protecting free speech for all.”

This is why, Ellis added, “President Trump wanted to recontemplate Section 230 (among other things) to disincentivize censorship and promote free speech.”

Section 230 is a part of the Communication Decency Act of 2003 that is intended to protect freedom of expression online by ensuring online intermediaries, like Google, are not held accountable for what their users say or do.

Under the Trump administration, the Department of Justice proposed to modify section 230 in 2020 with measures that would “[incentivize] online platforms to be responsible actors.” It said technology change over the past 25 years and how the law evolved gave online platforms “virtually unfettered discretion to censor third-party content with little transparency or accountability.

Former President Donald Trump, in a social media post in December, called the provision a “liability shielding gift” from Congress to big tech firms and “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity.”

‘A Substantial Move’
Ellis told The Epoch Times that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter “is a huge and substantial move to ensure free speech” on the part of the private sector.

Recently Musk, in response to a question about whether he would allow Trump back on Twitter, called the platform’s decision to suspend the then-president’s account in early 2021 “flat-out stupid.”

“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts,” Musk said. “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake.

“It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” he added.

“So I guess the answer is, I would reverse the perma-ban” on Trump’s account, Musk said.

Ellis hopes for more reform in this area.

“More needs to be done by conservatives in the private sector to ensure these protections and not just look to government to solve all these problems,” she said.

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Gary Bai is a reporter for Epoch Times Canada, covering China and U.S. news.

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