Republicans on the House Oversight Committee said any potential FBI investigation into the “role” Parler played in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “should include” Facebook and Twitter, calling the recent request for an FBI probe from committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney “evidence” of the “growing alliance between Big Tech and Democrats.”
Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., and GOP Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., penned a letter to Maloney, D-N. Y., on Monday after she requested that the FBI investigate Parler’s “role” as a “potential facilitator” of planning or inciting the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Like you, we were disturbed and angered by the riot and we believe those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law,” they wrote. “But casting blame on a single social media company known for its conservative username while simply ignoring other social media companies known for sympathizing with liberal causes is blatantly and overtly partisan.”
They added: “Moreover, your letter is additional evidence of the growing alliance between Big Tech and Democrats to muzzle certain viewpoints, opinions, and perspectives.”
Comer and Steube said Maloney’s claim that Parler was a “potential facilitator” of planning for the Capitol chaos “completely omits the fact that other social media platforms were also facilitators of the January 6 riot.”
“A cursory search of other social media platforms yields identical, disturbing posts, from across the political spectrum, advocating for a wide swathe of positions, demonizing an equally diverse group of people,” they wrote, pointing to posts found on Facebook and Twitter
The GOP congressmen went on to slam Big Tech companies, claiming Facebook and Twitter “appear to have profited off of the January 6 riot,” citing commentary suggesting “political turmoil drives increased engagement” on social media platforms.
“Rather than limiting its investigation to Parler, then, perhaps the Committee should include Facebook and other social media companies in its request for an investigation into the antecedents of the January 6 Capitol riot,” they wrote.
Comer and Steube added: “Of course, doing so may upset Big Tech, which in turn could turn off the spigot of campaign contributions to Democrats.”
The Republicans pointed to Big Tech donations to Democratic candidates during the 2020 election cycle.
“During the 2020 election cycle Facebook employees contributed over $5 million in federal elections—92.79% of which went to Democrats,” they said, citing Open Secrets. “Twitter employees were even more generous to Democrats, with 98.41% of all federal contributions in the 2020 cycle going to Democrats.”
“While Facebook, Twitter, and Parler seem to all share blame in allowing their platforms to be used to plan for the January 6 riot, one main difference between the three platforms is that Parler is the only one that hasn’t given generously to the Democrats,” they said.
Comer and Steube went on to call Maloney’s request for an FBI investigation into Parler “a transparently political ploy taking advantage of the tragedy that occurred on January 6 to shut down speech Democrats dislike.”
“Perhaps more disturbing is a Silicon Valley willing to oblige these … (Read more)