Senate Judiciary Committee authorizes subpoenas for Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg over Hunter Biden stories

Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
·2 min read

WASHINGTON – Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to authorize subpoenas to compel the testimony of the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook amid controversy over the social media companies' handling of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden.

The Post published alleged contents of a computer hard drive purporting to document the Ukrainian and Chinese business activities of Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The two CEOs have taken heat from conservatives over their companies' flagging of the story as spreading disinformation and their attempts to clamp down on the distribution of the story.

All 12 Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to authorize the subpoenas for Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey. The 10 Democrats on the panel boycotted Thursday's meeting over its consideration of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, which the panel approved.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the committee chairman, said he hoped it would give the panel some "leverage to secure (the CEOs') testimony" if they did not come and testify voluntarily. The committee has not scheduled a hearing date yet.

More: A tabloid got a trove of data on Hunter Biden from Rudy Giuliani. Now, the FBI is probing a possible disinformation campaign.

More: DNI Ratcliffe: Russia disinformation not behind published emails targeting Biden; FBI reviewing

Twitter had initially blocked the sharing of links to the Post's articles, though it later reversed course. Dorsey acknowledged missteps in his company's handling of the story.

USA TODAY has not been able to confirm the authenticity of the emails.

More: Twitter CEO says it was wrong to block links to Biden story

The FBI is probing connections between the data and a possible misinformation campaign, though Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that the trove of emails was not linked to a Russian effort. Ratcliffe acknowledged he knew "little" about the material published by the Post and that the intelligence community "has not been involved."

Contributing: Kevin Johnson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Senate panel approves subpoenas for Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg