Big Tech CEOs Hit With House Subpoenas Over Censorship Claims

The letters accuse the companies of colluding to suppress conservative voices, a claim the companies say is false.

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Rep. Jim Jordan sitting behind a microphone.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.

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US House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan on Wednesday issued subpoenas to the chief executives of some of the tech industry's biggest companies as Republicans on the committee press claims about content moderation and censorship.

The letters (PDF) demand that Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella surrender documents related to communications between the companies and the Biden administration. Republican lawmakers have accused the companies of colluding to suppress conservative voices on their platforms, a claim the companies have denied.  

Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, became chairman of the Judiciary committee last month after the GOP took control of the House of Representatives, a position that includes the power to issue subpoenas. Jordan's letters placed a March 23 deadline for the companies to turn over documents.

Jordan suggested in the letters Wednesday that Twitter CEO Elon Musk was exempted from the subpoenas because the company because of its release of the internal communications dubbed the Twitter Files, which discussed the platform's decision to limit the reach of a New York Post article about President Biden's son Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

Earlier this month, three former Twitter executives testified before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee that they made a mistake by blocking the Hunter Biden story but denied Republican assertions they were pressured by Democrats to suppress the story.

A Microsoft spokesperson said it had "started producing documents, are engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith."

Neither Alphabet, Apple nor Facebook responded to a request for comment.