Dem Lawmaker Calls on Biden Admin To Investigate Musk Twitter Purchase

Sen. Chris Murphy's letter comes as 'free speech absolutist' Tesla CEO looks to rollback censorship on platform

Chris Murphy
Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) / Getty Images
November 1, 2022

Just days after Elon Musk completed his takeover of Twitter, a top Democratic lawmaker is calling on the Biden administration to investigate the Tesla CEO's $44 billion purchase.

In a letter Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) requested that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen "immediately conduct a review" of the funding Musk used from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, arguing Twitter is vital for government communication and is susceptible to foreign influence. The two countries' stakes comprise 5 percent of Twitter's new funding.

"Any potential that Twitter's foreign ownership will result in increased censorship, misinformation, or political violence is a grave national security concern," Murphy wrote.

The Democrat's letter comes as Musk, a self-described "free speech absolutist," looks to ease censorship and reverse permanent bans, including on former president Donald Trump's account.

Murphy, who made headlines in September for blocking a bill to increase school security and mental health resources, acknowledged the countries' stakes were "non-controlling" but said a company with Americans' "sensitive personal data" should be protected.

Musk took over the company last week, tweeting Friday: "The bird is freed." He is reportedly expected to lay off a quarter of the tech company's workforce.

The Biden administration is reportedly weighing an investigation into Musk's activities, including the social media takeover.