House demands FBI investigation into Parler’s role as ‘potential facilitator’ of deadly pro-Trump mob violence

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Chris Riotta
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Right-wing social media app has been flooded with pornography (AFP via Getty Images)
Right-wing social media app has been flooded with pornography (AFP via Getty Images)

Parler is back online in limited form after Amazon cut hosting ties with the Twitter-style social media platform popular among members of the far right following the deadly pro-Trump mob attacks on the US Capitol.

But its troubles are far from over. On Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney requested the FBI conduct a “robust examination” into whether the platform served as a “potential facilitator” of the violence seen at the 6 January riots, in which supporters of former President Donald Trump clashed with police and stormed the Capitol as Congress convened to certify his defeat in the 2020 elections.

“In the days and weeks leading up to the siege, press reports detailed the rise of violent threats on Parler against state elected officials for their role in certifying the election results, and later, against Congress and its constitutional role in counting electoral votes,” the New York Democrat wrote in her letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “It is clear that Parler houses additional evidence critical to investigations of the attack on the Capitol.”

She added: “Questions have also been raised about Parler’s financing and its ties to Russia, which the Intelligence Community has warned is continuing to use social media and other measures to sow discord in the United States and interfere with our democracy.”

Parler has provided the FBI with information into the Capitol riots, according to an affidavit the agency released earlier this month. The FBI then used that evidence to identify and locate a member of Proud Boys, the male-only neofascist group for so-called “western chauvinists,” according to officials.

Eduard Florea, member of that right-wing group, had allegedly threatened to kill Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia under the Parler username “LoneWolfWar” and stockpiled over 1,000 rounds of ammo.

He was in New York during the day of the attacks, according to the affidavit, an area he said was “target rich” in one post published to the platform.

While it remained unclear whether the information was provided by Parler to the FBI willingly or through a subpoena, the platform has previously cooperated with federal investigations, giving the agency information for accounts linked to death threats against Mr Trump and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Since the attacks, Parler remains banned on the Google and Apple app stores. There are currently just four messages featured on a singular page on the platform. In a blog post on the company’s website, Parler CEO John Matze wrote: “Our return is inevitable due to hard work, and persistence against all odds.”

“Despite the threats and harassment not one Parler employee has quit,” the post read. “We are becoming closer and stronger as a team."

Congress has also reportedly planned to launch its own investigation into Parler and the role it served before and during the attacks on the Capitol.

Ms Maloney also requested a meeting with FBI officials to discuss “the status and scope of its review” as the House committee conducts its own probe.

Read More

Joe Biden has been president for 24 hours. Here’s what he’s done