Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) accused President Biden’s nominee to head the National Archives and Records Administration, Colleen Shogan, of lying under oath before the Senate Homeland Security Committee about her personal Twitter account Tuesday.
Hawley declared his opposition to Shogan’s nomination after a back-and-forth in which he confronted Shogan with her past tweets that included taking a shot at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and endorsing mask mandates for young children, and she told senators her personal Twitter account was not political.
“I have to say I have been here for four years in the Senate, I have never seen a witness stonewall like this before,” he said. “This is extraordinary. … This is unbelievable. And you want to be the archivist of the United States.”
“You lied to us under oath,” he said. “Now you’re sitting here stonewalling, not answering questions about the public posts that you made.”
The nominee tweeted in January 2021 that Cruz should “stay in your own lane” in response to another tweet criticizing Cruz for supporting an objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral tally in the 2020 election.
She also tweeted she “totally” agreed with a political science professor who said “the gleeful excitement about dropping mask requirements for young children” was “a FU to parents and kids under 5.”
Hawley grilled Shogan about her claim in previous testimony to the Senate that her personal Twitter account is “compromised of posts about my mystery novels, events at the White House Historical Association, Pittsburgh sports teams, travels and my dog.”
“I just remind you you’re under oath. Is this an accurate statement?” Hawley asked.
Shogan responded: “Yes, senator.”
The nominee, who was a senior vice president at the White House Historical Association when Biden nominated her to head the National Archives in August 2022, locked her personal Twitter account before being nominated but Republican staff obtained copies of her tweets before it was made private.
Hawley asked her about the Feb. 18, 2022, tweet reflecting a critical view of the decision to drop mask requirements for children under the age of five.
Shogan said she did not remember the tweet and asserted “those tweets were in my personal capacity.”
Hawley reminded the nominee he previously asked her to make all of her formerly public tweets which are now locked available to the Senate committee.
When Shogan said again “my social media is my personal capacity,” Hawley interrupted her.
“Answer my question please,” the senator shot back, asking bluntly whether, “yes or no,” the nominee’s post about mask requirements for children fall under the category of commentary on dogs, sports teams or novels.
Shogan stuck to her answer that “my social media is my personal capacity,” drawing a frustrated reaction from Hawley.
“Answer my question, please, because you 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,” the senator said.
Hawley also asked about Shogan’s post from May 26, 2022, calling for the ban of assault weapons and tweets expressing hope that former President Trump would have his vetoes overridden before leaving office, the view that he was a weak policy president and speculation that he would pardon himself for discussions about contesting the 2020 election before leaving office.
Each time, Shogan answered, “Social media is in my personal capacity.”
“You seem to be having an incredible case of amnesia,” Hawley said incredulously.
Hawley also grilled Shogan about a tweet suggesting that the Architect of the Capitol should remove religious flags flown at the Library of Congress, pointing out that the Supreme Court has previously held religious flags are allowed on federal property if flags expressing other viewpoints are allowed on the same property.
“I just wonder, does this have to do with your view that you wrote about that the religious right is connected to the rise of anti-intellectualism in American politics?” he asked, referring to her article “Anti-Intellectualism in the Modern Presidency: A Republican Populism.”
“Very non-partisan,” Hawley commented.