Ro Khanna, Renee DiResta, Darrell Issa. Photo: WSJ / Nikki Ritcher Photography

Rep. Darrell Issa, speaking at the Wall Street Journal's tech conference in Laguna Beach Monday, said the U.S. information system needs new ways to hold liars accountable — including journalists' anonymous sources and social-media disinformation providers.

What they're saying: "We have to have a result for the person who creates a lie, which we don't yet have,” said Issa.

  • The retiring congressman cited the example of anonymous sources who tell lies to journalists but have their identities protected.
  • He applied the same concern to lies spreading on social media. "If you’ve been hurt, and Facebook says, 'I'm immune,' then who is responsible and how do I get that data?” he later added, in reference to the Communications Decency Act's Section 230, which protects internet services from being liable for content posted by their users.
  • Issa acknowledged the complexities that both constitutional free speech and press guarantees and traditional libel laws bring to any effort to hold misinformation providers accountable.

U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents part of Silicon Valley, disagreed with Issa, saying that he's "all for a messy democracy," if that's the result of protecting the freedom of speech.

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Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

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By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.