- The Washington Times - Monday, January 25, 2021

Republicans are ripping the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Democratic leadership requesting the FBI investigate the social media platform Parler’s role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The GOP wants other social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter, investigated too.

Parler is a social media platform that was removed from Apple and Google’s app stores and taken offline by Amazon Web Services earlier this month, amid the tech companies’ concerns about the real-world consequences of dangerous speech on Parler.  

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the oversight committee chair, asked FBI Director Christopher Wray last week to look into Parler.  

On Monday, the committee’s top Republican, James Comer, and fellow GOP committee member Greg Steube wrote to Ms. Maloney that the request was “blatantly and overtly partisan.”

“Your call for an investigation into Parler is a transparently political ploy taking advantage of the tragedy that occurred on January 6 to shut down speech Democrats dislike,” Mr. Comer and Mr. Steube wrote. “Perhaps more disturbing is a Silicon Valley willing to oblige these impulses. Parler has been forced off the Internet, to the applause of Democrats and media commentators, and similarly forced to engage a Russian service to continue its platform. Consequently, Parler is deemed by this Committee to now merit investigation by the FBI while Facebook and Twitter are blameless.”

Mr. Comer and Mr. Steube requested that Ms. Maloney add Facebook and Twitter to the requested FBI investigation. 

Ms. Maloney’s office did not immediately answer questions regarding the Republicans’ request.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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