The Republican National Committee has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Twitter after the platform censored a New York Post expose on Hunter Biden published earlier this week. In a letter to the FECs general counsel on Friday, the RNC accused Twitter of violating federal campaign finance laws: “Through its ad hoc, partisan suppression of media critical of Biden, [Twitter] is making illegal, corporate in-kind contributions as it provides unheard-of media services for Joe Biden’s campaign.”
Federal election law prohibits corporations from directly donating to political candidates.
Twitter and Facebook unleashed a political storm after both platforms limited access to the Post’s series on the shocking materials obtained from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. Emails retrieved from the computer appear to contradict Biden’s frequent claims that he was unaware of his son’s overseas business dealings and did not use his office to intervene on his behalf. One email seems to confirm a White House meeting between both Bidens and a top executive for Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired the younger Biden in 2014 and paid him at least $4 million in fees over a five-year period.
Another email upends Biden’s insistence that his attempts to remove the Ukrainian state prosecutor investigating Burisma was due to concerns Viktor Shokin wasn’t working fast enough to root out corruption in the notoriously-corrupt country. A Democratic-connected public relations firm hired by Burisma, according to one email, participated in a December 2015 White House conference call a few weeks before Biden traveled to Kyiv to demand the country’s president fire Shokin, which he did.
While the Biden campaign did not refute the authenticity of the emails or deny a meeting between the Bidens and the Burisma executive took place, Twitter and Facebook nonetheless deemed the information unreliable. Twitter users could not post the articles; accounts belonging to the White House press secretary, House Judiciary Committee, and Trump’s campaign were locked for sharing the Post’s coverage. Facebook announced it would reduce the paper’s visibility until third-party fact checkers could validate the reporting.
“Respondent is a partisan actor, run by partisan Democrats, which appears to be using its corporate resources to provide active support for Joe Biden’s campaign in violation of federal law,” the complaint continued. The RNC is asking for an immediate investigation, although it’s unlikely since the agency does not currently have enough commissioners to call a quorum.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced they will vote to subpoena Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to testify next Friday.