Graham: Senate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Facebook CEO

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on whether to authorize a subpoena for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on allegations of anti-conservative bias alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told POLITICO on Friday.

Twitter and Facebook have come under a barrage of criticism from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies this week after they limited the reach of a New York Post article alleging ties between Joe Biden and his son’s business interests, citing concerns about spreading individuals’ personal information and hacked materials. Conservative lawmakers ramped up calls to revamp the legal shield that protects them and other internet companies from many lawsuits.

Graham and other Judiciary leaders said Thursday that they plan to vote Tuesday to compel Dorsey to testify about allegations of an anti-conservative bias on social media. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), chair of Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, went a step further and called for the full committee to also authorize subpoenas for Zuckerberg.

Graham was campaigning in North Charleston, S.C., on Friday, and indicated to POLITICO that he would follow through on the suggestion.

“Yeah, I think I will,” Graham said when asked about Hawley’s remarks.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

Twitter faced the harshest criticism for going as far as to block users from posting links to the New York Post article on its platform. The company has since softened its stance, adjusting its policies so that only hacked materials shared by hackers or their affiliates are removed. Twitter also said Friday it would no longer block users from posting the link over concerns about private information displayed in the article because it’s now widely available on other platforms.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed Friday the company’s handling of the report remains unchanged.

“What we’re going to have to do is we’re going to finally have an accounting that’s long overdue,” Graham said Thursday, after announcing the Dorsey subpoena vote.

The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are separately slated to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct. 28 about a hearing on a key set of legal liability protections for internet companies. The tech moguls agreed to testify after that panel voted to authorize subpoenas for all three executives.

Andrew Desiderio reporting from North Charleston, S.C.; Cristiano Lima reporting from Washington, D.C.

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