GOP senators plan to subpoena Jack Dorsey to testify about Twitter's decision to block the link to an unverified and dubious story about Hunter Biden's emails

Aaron Holmes
·3 min read
Jack Dorsey Twitter Square
Joshua Roberts/Reuters
  • Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify about Twitter's decision to block links to a dubious New York Post article about Joe Biden's son.

  • The New York Post article contains unverified emails purportedly taken from Hunter Biden's laptop that were provided to the newspaper by Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's personal lawyer. Hunter Biden has denied the story's veracity.

  • Twitter said it blocked people from sharing links to the Post's story Wednesday for violating its policies against distributing "hacked materials." Facebook also reduced distribution of the story as questions swirled about whether it was a disinformation campaign.

  • Hours after Twitter blocked the links Wednesday, Dorsey publicly apologized, saying Twitter should have more clearly communicated its reasons for the action. The links are still blocked from being shared as of Thursday afternoon.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the site's decision to block links to a disputed and unverified New York Post article about Joe Biden's son Hunter, the GOP senators announced Thursday.

Both Facebook and Twitter took action to reduce the spread of the New York Post article Wednesday after questions arose about its veracity. The story claimed to include emails taken from Hunter Biden's laptop that were provided to the New York Post by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney. Giuliani said he obtained the emails from an unnamed computer repair shop owner. No other reporters have been able to independently verify the emails, and the source of the report has been linked to people within President Trump's circle, including his former campaign manager Stephen Bannon.

Twitter blocked people from sharing links to the New York Post article Wednesday because the story violated its policy against distributing "hacked materials." Republican lawmakers and Trump allies erupted in response to Twitter's action, calling it evidence of political bias against conservatives.

In a tweet sent Wednesday night, Dorsey apologized for Twitter's communication surrounding its action, saying the company should have given people more explanation for why the link was being blocked.

Now, Senate Republicans plan to subpoena Dorsey to testify before the Judiciary Committee. The committee will vote to subpoena Dorsey at a meeting on Tuesday, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri told reporters Thursday afternoon. Hawley added that he wants Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the committee about Facebook's decision to slow the spread of the article, but senators have not announced similar plans to subpoena Zuckerberg.

"Never before have we seen active censorship of a major press publication with serious allegations of corruption of one of the two candidates for president," Cruz said.

A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Senate Republicans have previously claimed that Hunter Biden's position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company posed a conflict of interest when Joe Biden was engaged in Ukraine policy as Vice President. But the Senate Republicans' investigation ended concluded in September that it was "unclear" whether Hunter Biden's role ever influenced the Obama administration. The alleged emails and documents referenced in the New York Post report were not included nor referenced in the Senate Republicans' report.

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