House Judiciary Committee ramps up pressure on Google

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has threatened to push for Google to be held in contempt of Congress if the online giant does not comply with a subpoena relating to allegations of government-tech collusion.

Last week, in a letter addressed to representatives of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Jordan wrote, “If Alphabet fails to comply in full with the subpoena’s demands, the Committee may be forced to consider the use of one or more enforcement mechanisms.”

According to the letter, House Republicans are unsatisfied with Google’s efforts to share documents that show communication between the company and government entities. The company has, Jordan wrote, shared more than 4,000 documents, most of which contain redactions.

“These redactions do not appear to be based on any applicable privilege, because Alphabet has asserted none,” the letter reads.

Jordan later adds, “We expect that you will produce all responsive material without redactions, both for documents already produced and for documents to be produced going forward, and that you will produce these documents directly to the Committee consistent with the subpoena.”

Jordan also complained that Google has submitted documents through a reading room “in a form and manner that prevents and frustrates the Committee’s understanding and use of those documents and fails to comply with the terms of the subpoena.”

Google has long been accused of working with or at the behest of the federal government on the moderation of content. Republicans argue this has taken the form of censoring pro-conservative ideas or those damaging to the left.

With the release of the Twitter Files, a monthslong and multi-journalist investigative piece into the inner workings of the social media giant, calls for answers from the right have grown only louder.

Among Republicans’ chief complaints has been the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the runup to the 2020 presidential election.

House Republicans are currently threatening two entities with a contempt of Congress charge. Texas Rep. Michael McCaul is also advocating for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to be held in contempt for failing to produce a document relating to the evacuation of Afghanistan.