Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., are demanding Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg turn over all communications between Facebook and the FBI, Department of Justice, and other government agency employees relating to Hunter Biden.
Grassley is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and Johnson is ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. They are looking for communications dealing with Biden's laptop, his business dealings, and Russian disinformation for a full year ending in July 1, 2021. Their demands came in a letter to Zuckerberg dated Monday, according to the New York Post.
Zuckerberg admitted Thursday that his Meta platforms suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story in the final weeks before the 2020 presidential election after a visit from the FBI, retroactively saying now "it sucks" the story wound up being verifiable.
"The background here is the FBI basically came to us — some of the folks on our team —and said, 'Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert: We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election, we have it on notice that basically there's about to be some kind of dump that's similar to that, so just be vigilant," Zuckerberg told "The Joe Rogan Experience" in a podcast interview posted Thursday.
Zuckerberg maintained Twitter fully blocked the Hunter Biden laptop story, while Facebook merely suppressed it from being spread widely.
But in their letter, Grassley and Johnson said: "In October 2020, when the New York Post published articles based on evidence from Hunter Biden's laptop, many news and social media organizations inappropriately rushed to censor and discredit the initial reporting and falsely labeled it as 'disinformation.'
"You recently appeared to indicate that the reason why Facebook made the unwise decision to censor articles about Hunter Biden's laptop was based off an alert from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"You appeared to indicate that as a result of the FBI's warning, Facebook eventually took steps to censor news articles about Hunter Biden's laptop. Specifically, you said that 'distribution' of those articles on Facebook was decreased and explained that "the ranking and newsfeed was a little less. So fewer people saw it than would have otherwise.
"The American people deserve to know whether the FBI used Facebook as part of their alleged plan to discredit information about Hunter Biden.
"If so, Congress and the American people require clarity with respect to the extent the FBI communicated with Facebook during the 2020 election about Hunter Biden-related information."
The letter also demands to know the names of the FBI officials who communicated with Facebook.
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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