Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, during a field hearing in New York on April 17, 2023.
Stephanie Keith | Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Ohio Republican, Google This could include accusing the company of insulting Congress for not producing documents subpoenaed by the committee about communications between tech companies and the Biden administration.
In a letter to Google lawyers shared exclusively with CNBC, Jordan said the company’s compliance to date was “poor” and demanded more information. . Jordan warned that if the company does not fully comply by the new May 22 deadline, “the commission may be forced to consider using one or more enforcement mechanisms.”
Jordan issued a subpoena to the CEO of Google’s parent company alphabet, Amazon, apple, meta and microsoft In February, it took over communications with the U.S. government to “understand how and to what extent the executive branch coerced and conspired with corporations and other intermediaries to censor speech.” Jordan asked companies to comply by March 23. He initially made the request after asking the companies to voluntarily provide the information, but said the companies had not fully complied.
Several other tech giants have received subpoenas in connection with the commission’s investigation, but have refused to give their names to speak freely, according to sources familiar with the matter. Other companies seem to be more responsive to requests than Google.
meeting can despise individuals For refusing to provide information requested by the Commission. This requires a committee vote and a simple majority vote of the floor.Republicans now have a majority in the House 222-213.
According to 2017, criminal contempt cases can be referred to the Justice Department or Congress can seek civil judgment in federal court to attempt to enforce the subpoena. paper From the Congressional Research Service.
The commission may also seek to take other actions against Google, such as removing the company’s management or seeking to restrict federal funds from flowing to Google in future legislation. .
In the letter, Jordan explained several ways Alphabet did not adequately respond to the commission’s requests.
He said Alphabet “frustrated the committee’s review of the response material by unilaterally redacting key information necessary to understand the context and content of the material.”
Alphabet does not claim that these redactions contain confidential information, Jordan said, and the commission has requested that the unredacted documents be turned over.
The company recently placed several documents in a “reading room” and “in such a form and manner as to impede and frustrate the Commission’s understanding and use of the documents and to fail to comply with the terms of the subpoena without the Commission’s consent.” ‘ said Jordan. “
He wrote that Alphabet produced 4,000 pages of documents in response to the subpoena. However, these documents do not include a “significant amount” of some types of communication that the Commission envisions Google will have. This includes communications with social media platforms, letters from other Alphabet subsidiaries, communications via messaging services other than e-mail, and communications between employees regarding contact with the executive branch of the United States Government.
Referring to a report on internal documents provided to a hand-picked group of journalists by Twitter owner Elon Musk, Jordan said, “The release of the Twitter files reflects how the government works with technology companies in terms of content moderation. It shows how extensively we have been in contact and coordinating.” when he took over the company. “We are skeptical that Alphabet’s interactions with the pressured federal government were less of a concern than Twitter’s.”
A Google spokesperson said in a statement that since December, the company has “produced relevant documents at the request of the committee” and “will continue to work constructively with the committee.”
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