On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI for documents regarding any possible collusion between the agencies and Big Tech platforms to censor conservatives.
According to Fox News, Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, announcing that “the Committee on the Judiciary is conducting oversight of how and the extent to which the Executive Branch has coerced and colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor speech.”
The committee is requesting all communications between the DOJ, the FBI, and any private companies or third parties that were involved in their collaborative effort to censor speech on various social media platforms. The subpoena orders both agencies to hand over all necessary documents by September 18th, at 9:00 AM.
Due to revelations in the lawsuit Missouri v. Biden, Jordan wrote, it is now known that the government “has pressured and colluded with Big Tech and other intermediaries to censor certain viewpoints on social and other media in ways that undermine First Amendment principles.”
“The First Amendment prohibits government officials from imposing viewpoint-based censorship restrictions,” Jordan continued, adding that the documents that have already been made public “reflect the weaponization of the federal government’s power to censor speech online directly and by proxy.”
“It is necessary for Congress to gauge the extent to which DOJ officials have coerced, pressured, worked with, or relied upon social media and other tech companies to censor speech,” Jordan added.
Earlier this year, Jordan issued subpoenas to the CEOs of Google, Amazon, and Facebook for documents on their end relating to these collaborative efforts.
In the aforementioned lawsuit, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ultimately determined that the government had indeed “jointly participated” in efforts involving social media companies to the point that they had become “pervasively entwined.” These efforts, the court ruled, “blur[red] the line between public and private action.” As a result of the ruling, the Biden Administration was forbidden from any further communication with social media companies.
Earlier reporting had revealed that Biden Administration officials held numerous meetings with executives from the social media platform Facebook, demanding that they change their algorithms in order to suppress conservative content, particularly with regards to skepticism about the Chinese Coronavirus and the subsequent vaccines.