Republican senators call for social media CEOs to testify before Senate, face possible subpeonas on alleged "election interference"

by Laura Mize · Oct 15th, 2020 3:01 pm
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Last Updated Oct 17th, 2020 at 10:37 am

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC), Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) have called for the CEOS of social media platforms Facebook and Twitter to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee amid the companies' moves to limit distribution of New York Post articles about incriminating emails purportedly involving Hunter Biden.

The senators claim the moves amount to censorship of the media and election interference. The three leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that they will vote next week on whether to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Hawley said he wanted to see a vote on subpoenaing Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, as well.

The Post published an article Wednesday that detailed an email allegedly addressed to Hunter Biden, in which a Ukrainian business executive thanked him for an introduction to his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden. Facebook and Twitter have both censored the piece. Twitter prohibited users from sharing it and locked the Post's account. The company also locked the account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany after she posted a tweet with the story, then deleted her tweet. Facebook said it would limit sharing of the story until a fact check was done.

The senators argues that suppressing the stories could keep Americans in the dark about one of the two main party candidates seeking election to president.

"This is election interference, and we're 19 days out from an election," Cruz said. "It has no precedent in the history of democracy. The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know what the h--- is going on."

The senators pointed out that Twitter and Facebook have not taken similar actions against articles that allege wrongdoing by President Trump.

"We're going to finally have an accounting that's long overdue," said Graham, chairman of the committee. "The power behind these platforms have been taken to a level that truly is dangerous."

Hawley already had written letters requesting Zuckerberg and Dorsey testify before the judiciary committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

"We believe in a free press in this country and we also believe in free elections," he said. "The attempt to rig an election, which is what we're seeing here by monopolies, is unprecedented in American history. They have a lot to answer for."


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