House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan issued a subpoena Friday targeting Elvis Chan, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco field office.
Chan is involved in Big Tech’s censure campaign during the 2020 election.
That subpoena came in response to the Justice Department blocking Chan from participating in a voluntary interview.
“The Judiciary Committee is monitoring how and to what extent the Executive Branch has coerced and colluded with businesses and other intermediaries to censor speech,” Jordan wrote. “As the primary liaison between the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) and social media companies, you are uniquely positioned to assist in the Committee’s oversight.”
The central point of concern revolves around collaborative efforts between the federal government and prominent social media entities to suppress unpopular political perspectives amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jordan stated that both the legal proceedings and publicly available information “have exposed how the federal government has pressured and colluded with Big Tech and other intermediaries to censor certain viewpoints on social media and other media in ways that undermine the principles of the First Amendment.”
“Congress needs to assess the extent to which FBI agents coerced, pressured, worked with, or relied on social media and other technology companies to censor speech. The scope of the Committee’s investigation includes understanding extent and nature of the FBI’s involvement in this censorship,” Jordan argued.
Chan was scheduled to participate in a taped interview Friday. However, a disagreement between the FBI and the Committee regarding procedural issues resulted in the cancellation of the interview. Accordingly, the commission issued a subpoena.
Jordan’s subpoena comes in the context of the ongoing legal case Missouri v. Biden, in which Republican-led states have challenged the administration’s dealings with major social media corporations.
FBI agent Elvis Chan was fired in November over the case.
As revealed in Elvis Chan’s deposition, the FBI played a major role in working with Big Tech companies to censor speech.
Actions ranged from weekly meetings with social media companies to demanding the takedown of specific accounts and facilitating the deletion of certain stories. Chan explained how platforms became much more aggressive in removing alleged disinformation during the 2020 election cycle than in previous election cycles.
Last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling, which found the Biden administration’s actions violated Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech .
The Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on this issue.
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