By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — A series of document dumps called the “Twitter files” have exposed the social media companies’ collusion with federal law enforcement and the Democratic Party to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election, and now lawmakers are calling for consequences.
Billionaire and new Twitter owner Elon Musk ordered the release of the documents, which started an online firestorm. More documents are expected to be released. So far, the “Twitter files” have featured most notably internal communications between top Twitter executives, the Biden administration and federal law enforcement.
“Accountability is coming,” said U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who leads the GOP Conference.
U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky. and ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News that he wants Twitter employees to speak to Congress.
“Thank goodness for Elon Musk. He is definitely the grinch that stole Christmas for the Democratic National Committee,” Rep. Comer said on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.” “What he’s showing here is evidence that the Biden campaign colluded with Big Tech to suppress a story that we now know is 100% true.
“The problem the Democrats should have is why were they so scared of the laptop story? The answer … is the laptop proves evidence that not only did Joe Biden lie to the American people about his involvement with his family’s influence peddling and shady business dealings, but also proves that Joe Biden was a part of those shady business deals.”
Senators joined in as well. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, discussed the issue on his podcast, “The Verdict,” released Monday.
“Twitter acted as an arm of the Biden campaign,” Sen. Cruz said.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., called for answers as well in a Fox Business interview Monday.
“It sure seems like social media works for the Biden administration,” Sen. Scott said. “Americans have got to get mad about what is going on in this country. You have to start showing up and saying, ‘This is my country.’”
Critics also blasted the FBI for its involvement revealed in the Twitter files. The FBI reportedly gave social media companies information leading them to believe the Hunter Biden story could be part of a disinformation campaign. Two years later, more and more details of the Hunter Biden story have been verified by leading news outlets.
Elvis Chan, special agent in charge of the FBI San Francisco Cyber Branch, testified in a deposition before Attorneys General Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Special Agent Chan said in the testimony that the FBI met with Twitter weekly leading up to the election.
“Elvis Chan’s deposition last week shed more light on the FBI’s role in the government’s unlawful censorship enterprise, as it made clear that the FBI orchestrated social media censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story,” said Jenin Younes, litigation counsel at the New Civil Liberties Alliance. “Regardless of their politics, all Americans should be gravely concerned about the FBI’s utter disregard for the First Amendment.”
This is the latest in a series of revelations showing that federal law enforcement worked closely with tech giants to control information on social media platforms going into the last presidential election.
As The Center Square previously reported, House Oversight Committee Republicans launched an investigation last month into the Department of Homeland Security after reports that federal law enforcement was pressuring tech companies on a range of issues, including COVID-19, the vaccine and Ukraine.
The lawmakers sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling out DHS in particular, saying it “leverages partnerships with left-leaning private organizations — who have received millions of dollars in federal money – to identify and then take action against political speech unfavorable to the Administration, especially around its handling of COVID-19 policy.”
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.