A pair of House Republicans is asking Twitter to turn over materials related to former President Donald Trump’s ban from the platform.
Reps. Jim Jordan and Ken Buck asked the social media platform to turn over three types of documents related to censorship, including “all documents and communications” related to Twitter notations attached to two Trump tweets.
“In recent months, Twitter throttled the dissemination of a mainstream newspaper article critical of then-candidate Joe Biden’s son and later took the unprecedented step of de-platforming the sitting President of the United States,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Thursday. “If Twitter can do this to the President of the United States, it can do it to any American for any reason.”
Jordan and Buck deemed Twitter’s conduct “brazen” and said that the moves amounted to the censorship of opposing viewpoints.
“Big Tech, especially Twitter, Inc., is engaged in systematic viewpoint-based discrimination,” they said. “In the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘cancel culture,’ Twitter plays a leading role in silencing and censoring political speech of conservative Americans.”
Jordan has been an outspoken opponent of “cancel culture.” On Monday, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee called for a hearing on “cancel culture sweeping America.”
“There is no better issue on which Republicans and Democrats can work together to address in our first full committee hearing than to address the scourge of cancel culture in the United States,” he wrote to Rep. Jerry Nadler, who serves as the committee’s chairman.
House Republicans have expressed similar concerns of censorship to competitor Facebook, writing in a February letter to Facebook’s Oversight Board that they “remain concerned that the de-platforming standards are not applied in a fair and neutral manner.”
Democrats have largely been dismissive of Republicans’ concerns.
“There is no evidence that there is any bias,” Rep. David Cicilline, who serves as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, told the Washington Examiner. “That can be [Jordan’s] entire focus, but it’s not an actual problem. The evidence is anecdotal so far, [and] we don’t operate on anecdotes. We operate on facts and data.”
In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill siege, many big tech companies moved to deplatform Trump, as well as many of his supporters. Despite his frequent use of Twitter as a communicative tool while he was president, Trump thinks it’s “kind of freeing” not to have access to Twitter, according to former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“I spoke to him this week,” McEnany, a Fox News contributor, said Friday on Fox Business. “I spoke to him, certainly in the wake of the Twitter ban, and he said it was kind of freeing not to have Twitter. He had a lot of time on his hands. So, I think he’s doing just fine without social media.”
Twitter declined the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.