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'You Tweeted 'Well Done'': Ted Cruz Brings The Receipts While Grilling FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn


Ted cruz, us senator
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questioned FCC nominee Gigi Sohn.

Cruz questioned Sohn about her failure to disclose a secret deal to the Senate Commerce Committee and to the White House, her political contributions to Senators while her nomination was pending, and her support of a left-wing activist group called "Fight for the Future." 

Cruz argued that her actions demonstrated poor judgment and questioned her honesty and integrity. Sohn defended her actions and maintained that she acted honestly and in accordance with the agreement of the settlement. She also explained her support of "Fight for the Future" and argued that her political contributions were small and not significant.

Here is the complete conversation between Ted Cruz and Gigi Sohn at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing:

Ted Cruz: Thank you, Madam Chair. Ms. Sohn, this is your third hearing, that is highly unusual. One of the reasons that you've had three hearings is that in the first hearing you went through the entire hearing without disclosing the sweetheart settlement concerning Locast. And the entire purpose of the second hearing was one that came to light, you actively misled Ranking Member Wicker when he asked you in writing about the $32 million settlement. You did not correct the record that it was, in fact, only two percent of that amount, $700,000. You also disclosed at that second hearing that you never notified the White House of this sweetheart deal, even though you signed it literally the day after they announced their intention to nominate you.

My question is this: Do you think that your failure to disclose the secret deal to this committee, and your failure to disclose it to the White House, do you think that reflected poor judgment, yes or no?

Gigi Sohn: No. I answered Senator Wicker's question honestly.

Ted Cruz: You don't think it was poor judgment to mislead this committee or to mislead the president who was nominating?

Gigi Sohn: Let me ask you a second question. Do you agree that I misled this committee?

Ted Cruz: So, I would like to make the record is I believe abundantly clear, and in fact, I will be sending out my cross-examination from the last hearing, where you repeatedly misled this Committee in that hearing. And, in fact, we'll go ahead and actually put this up. I'll note I asked, "Did you disclose to the committee that agreement?" "I did." "Did you disclose the agreement to the committee?" "I did." "Hold on a second, did you disclose to this committee, yes or no?" "I did." "You disclosed the $700,000 secret settlement?" "No."

So, three times, you say I did, and then "Oh no, you did not." You misled this committee, and you also misled the White House.

Ted Cruz: Let me ask you secondly, the 15 months that your nomination has been pending, you've made not one, not two, not three, you've made 12 separate political contributions to Senators running for office. I've been in the Senate 10 years, I have never seen a nominee make contributions to Senators while your nomination is pending. I've never seen that once. I had my staff search the records if we could find anyone in the Trump Administration who had done that. My staff was unable to find that. You've been a significant political donor over the years, giving over $32,000. You gave, do you believe it was poor judgment to give 12 separate political contributions to Democrat Senators while your nomination was pending?

Gigi Sohn: Senator, I'm a citizen who just wanted to participate in democracy. It was relatively small donations.

Ted Cruz: No, I don't. It was over $1,000. $32,000 over your life. That's over my life.

Gigi Sohn: All right, but not to one person, mostly.

Ted Cruz: Oh no, no, there were two dozen Senators, to a dozen different Senators, including Senators who've been critical of your nomination and Senators who have not. You managed to cover the waterfront of Democrats running for office.

Ted Cruz: Let's turn to another issue, which is you have been an active supporter of a left-wing activist group called Fight for the Future. And I will say, the record of Fight for the Future is really quite



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