Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, attends a news conference with members of the GOP Doctors Caucus following a House Republican Conference meeting at the US Capitol on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | fake images
A group of 18 House Republicans asks from twitter Board to preserve all records related to Elon MuskThe offer to buy the company, which would set up a possible congressional investigation if the party regains its majority this fall.
In letters shared exclusively with CNBC, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee called on Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor and other board members to preserve any messages from official or personal accounts, including through software. of encryption, which relates to Twitter’s consideration of Musk’s offer.
“As Congress continues to examine Big Tech and how to best protect the free speech rights of Americans, this letter serves as a formal request that you preserve all records and materials related to Musk’s bid to purchase Twitter, including consideration and Twitter’s response to this offer. and Twitter’s assessment of its shareholders’ interests with respect to Musk’s offer,” the letter, addressed by Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
“You should interpret this retention notice as an instruction to take all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction or alteration, whether intentional or negligent, of all documents, communications and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that is or may be potentially sensitive to this congressional investigation,” the letter continues.
The request indicates that if Republicans regain a majority in the House in the 2022 midterm elections, they can launch a Twitter investigation, especially if the company refuses to accept the offer from Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla and Space X. Under Republican control, the House Judiciary Committee could decide to subpoena records about the board’s internal deliberations.
This is not the first time that Twitter has drawn the attention of Republican lawmakers.
The platform has become a focal point for some conservative members who have charged that Twitter unfairly removes or moderates posts for ideological reasons. Twitter has denied doing so and says it enforces standards based on its community guidelines.
In the letter to Taylor dated Friday, the lawmakers wrote: “Decisions about the future governance of Twitter will undoubtedly have consequences for public discourse in the United States and could lead to renewed efforts to legislate to promote the preservation of liberty.” expression online. Among other things, the Board’s reactions to Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter and outside opposition to Musk’s role in Twitter’s future are troubling.”
Twitter also became the focus of Republican criticism in October 2020 when Blocked links to a New York Post story that Joe Biden’s alleged son Hunter, while his father was vice president, tried to introduce his father to a top executive at a Ukrainian company he worked for. A spokesperson for Biden’s presidential campaign at the time of the story’s publication said no such meeting ever took place and that the Post “never asked the Biden campaign about critical elements of this story.”
Twitter saying at the time it blocked links to the story because it violated their pirated materials policy and included personal information such as email addresses, also violating their rules. Then-CEO Jack Dorsey later said it was “wrong” to block links to the story and said Twitter updated its policy to reflect that. The ordeal fueled criticism from the right on Twitter, many of whom felt the company unfairly blocked the story on ideological grounds.
A Twitter spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Here are the letters to the Twitter board members: