House Republicans sent a letter Thursday to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg requesting all documents and communications between the FBI and Facebook before the 2020 election.
Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and James Comer, R-Ky., ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, led the letter also signed by 33 other House Republicans.
The move comes one week after Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, revealed the FBI’s role in suppressing news stories about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop on the social media site.
Jordan, Comer, and the other GOP lawmakers focus on Facebook’s suppression of what their letter calls “an explosive New York Post article detailing how Hunter Biden used the position and influence of his father, now-President [Joe] Biden, for personal gain, with the apparent awareness of President Biden.”
During an appearance on the “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast last Thursday, Zuckerberg said the FBI sought a meeting with his staff weeks before the election because of “a supposed dump of Russian election ‘misinformation.’”
FBI agents, Zuckerberg said, advised Facebook to “be on high alert” and “just be vigilant” because the law enforcement agency expected more “Russian propaganda” to surface.
Zuckerberg told Rogan that distribution of the story through Facebook was slowed for roughly a week while “third party” fact-checkers analyzed the New York Post’s reporting.
“I think it was five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false. The distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people [were] still allowed to share it,” he said. “So, you could still share it. You could still consume it.”
Zuckerberg told Rogan that he couldn’t provide the exact percentage decrease in Facebook’s distribution of the Hunter Biden story, although he did admit that the decrease was “meaningful.”
A poll conducted in August by New Jersey-based TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics found that nearly 80% of Americans familiar with the Hunter Biden laptop story say that incumbent President Donald Trump would have defeated Democrat challenger Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election if voters had been accurately informed about the scandal, the New York Post reported.
House Republicans’ letter to Zuckerberg, dated Sept. 1, labels Facebook’s decision to follow this FBI guidance “highly troubling” and calls on its parent company, Meta, to produce four different sets of “documents and communications.” Specifically, the letter requests:
All documents and communications between October 1, 2020, and the present, between or among any employee or contractor of Facebook and any individual affiliated with the FBI referring or relating to the New York Post’s reporting about the Biden family.
All documents and communications between October 1, 2020, and the present, between or among any employee or contractor of Facebook and any individual affiliated with the Biden for President campaign or the Democratic National Committee referring or relating to the New York Post’s reporting about the Biden family.
All documents and communications between October 1, 2020, and the present, between or among any employee or contractor of Facebook and any individual affiliated with the FBI referring or relating to purported election misinformation in the 2020 presidential election.
All documents and communications between October 1, 2020, and the present, referring or relating to Facebook’s plans to implement, or its actions based on, the FBI’s message to be “on high alert” for election misinformation.
The GOP lawmakers gave Zuckerberg until Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. to respond by providing the requested materials.
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