- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A congressional antitrust hearing with top tech company CEOs briefly derailed after a Democratic congresswoman accused Republicans of peddling “fringe conspiracy theories” in an exchange that culminated in another member shouting at Rep. Jim Jordan to put his mask on.

“I’d like to redirect your attention to antitrust law, rather than fringe conspiracy theories,” said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, Pennsylvania Democrat.

The comments came after Mr. Jordan, Ohio Republican, tried to press Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on whether Google is going to tailor its features to boost likely Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden in the 2020 election.

Mr. Pichai committed to Mr. Jordan that his company would conduct itself in a “neutral” way.

“On our search engine, conservatives have more access to information than ever before,” he said.

Mr. Jordan protested Ms. Scanlon’s characterization, saying he was not engaging in conspiracy theories.

“You do not have the time — please be respectful of your colleague. She controls the time,” said Rep. David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who chairs the judiciary antitrust subcommittee.

“Put your mask on! Put your mask on!” Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat, shouted at Mr. Jordan.

“You want to talk about masks — why would the deputy secretary of the Treasury unmask Michael Flynn’s name, Mr. Raskin?” Mr. Jordan replied, referring to President Trump’s former national security adviser.

“What I want to know is when someone comes after my motives for asking questions, I get a chance to respond,” he said.

Mr. Cicilline then recognized Ms. Scanlon to continue her questioning.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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