Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) asked Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Thursday to preserve all internal records related to the companies’ suppression of news coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020, according to copies of the congressional preservation letters obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The congressman is asking Zuckerberg, Agrawal, Facebook communications director Andy Stone, and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to "Immediately initiate document preservation for all materials relating to questions, inquiry, conversation, strategy, and response to the media reporting of the Hunter Biden laptop and/or its contents that first appeared in the New York Post on October 14, 2020," and to notify employees, consultants, and subcontractors who might have access to relevant materials.
Issa said his office is investigating efforts by social media outlets and Democratic operatives to stifle the New York Post bombshell story about Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign business dealings, which was based on emails found on Hunter’s abandoned laptop.
"This is the scandal that Big Tech and the Democrat industrial complex wish would go away," Issa told the Free Beacon. "They know what they did, and of course they think they’ve gotten away with it. That’s why it’s critical that we not squander the opportunity for accountability."
Issa also sent preservation requests to top Biden 2020 campaign aides—including now-White House press secretary Jen Psaki and chief of staff Ron Klain—as well as a group of Biden-supporting former U.S. intelligence officials who claimed the laptop appeared to be part of a "Russian information operation."
The preservation requests don’t have the legal power of a congressional subpoena, but companies could take a political risk if they refuse to comply—particularly if Republicans gain the House majority next year, giving them control of investigative committees and subpoena authority.
Although there was no evidence in 2020 that the Post’s reporting was inaccurate—and even Hunter Biden didn’t deny that the emails were real—Democrats decried the story as Russian "misinformation," and Facebook and Twitter took unprecedented steps to prevent users from viewing or sharing it weeks before the election.
Facebook announced that it would be "reducing [the story’s] distribution on our platform" and changed its algorithm to make posts about the article less visible. Twitter locked the Post’s account and barred users from sharing the link, claiming it was "potentially harmful."
Facebook declined to comment.
Numerous other news outlets have since corroborated the Post’s reporting.