A major hearing approaches with Big Tech CEO’s Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai in the hot seat. Republicans claim they were not invited.
"We hope that this incident was simply a misunderstanding and not an intentional Democrat effort to exclude Republicans and then misrepresent our views to the companies," House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote in an open letter.
Jordan accused Democrat leaders of excluding Republicans from the upcoming July 27 hearing with leadership from Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google. Jordan also alleged that GOP staff had not only been excluded from key phone calls, but that “Democratic Subcommittee staff appear to have misrepresented the positions of the Committee Republicans to lawyers for the companies.”
The letter also directly called upon House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to allow the entire committee to interrogate the country's top tech executives so that both parties could be represented.
"Although Republicans look forward to this hearing,” Jordan expressed his concern that the lack of Republican presentation would be a critical omission, as there is “broad interest from members of both parties who do not serve on the subcommittee.”
Jordan stressed that these companies have massive sway over modern life and that “The nature of the Committee’s investigation and the companies under examination suggest that this hearing deserves more thorough treatment than simply being confined to examination by a subset of Antitrust Subcommittee Members.” He argued instead that “This issue simply demands a hearing before the full Committee.”
Protocol observed that some Democrats are not taking his concerns seriously, with one unnamed aide replying that “This is a serious hearing, not Diamond and Silk 2.0."
A source familiar with the negotiations allegedly told Protocol that the Democrats had originally asked for the executives to testify in front of the full committee. The source went on to suggest that it was instead the companies themselves who requested that the hearing be held by only the smaller subcommittee, effectively excluding Republicans.
Why would Big Tech companies be more afraid of questioning from Republicans? The unnamed source allegedly claimed that "Democrats wouldn't use all the tools viable to them to compel the companies to come on their original terms."
Want to urge Congress to have a full committee hearing? Readers can call Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5635.