Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have asked Twitter’s board of directors to preserve all records related to the attempted purchase of the company by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
In a letter, the GOP members – led by ranking member Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan – request that Twitter board Chairman Bret Taylor preserve any messages sent or received from official or personal accounts related to the consideration of Musk’s bid.
“As Congress continues to examine Big Tech and how to best protect Americans’ free speech rights, this letter serves as a formal request that you preserve all records and materials relating to Musk’s offer to purchase Twitter, including Twitter’s consideration and response to this offer, and Twitter’s evaluation of its shareholder interests with respect to Musk’s offer,” reads the letter.
It continued, “You should construe this preservation notice as an instruction to take all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction or alteration, whether intentionally or negligently, of all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that is or may be potentially responsive to this congressional inquiry.”
Jordan’s letter is a strong indication that, should Republicans regain majority control of the House in November, they could launch an investigation into Twitter – especially if Musk’s bid to buy the company is internally thwarted.
“Decisions regarding Twitter’s future governance will undoubtedly be consequential for public discourse in the United States and could give rise to renewed efforts to legislate in furtherance of preserving free expression online,” Jordan wrote. “Among other things, the Board’s reactions to Elon Musk’s offer to purchase Twitter, and outsider opposition to Musk’s role in Twitter’s future are concerning.”
In the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Twitter blocked the circulation of the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop, the contents of which indicate, among other things, his business ties to Chinese and Ukrainian officials, in part while his father, Joe Biden, who is now president, was vice president.
Then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later said the company had been “wrong” to block the story.