What the White House dubs “a bizarre political stunt”, Republican leaders deem to be delivery on a campaign promise. The House Oversight Committee commenced a public hearing on the contents of a laptop belonging to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The Committee heard Twitter employees’ statements under subpoena regarding the social media giant’s efforts to suppress discussion on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
James Comer, the committee chairman, has accused Hunter Biden of using his father’s political power to pursue rich overseas business transactions. The session marked the start of a probe into the commercial dealings of the Biden family.
Hunter Biden’s attorney denies his client having any ties to the laptop in question, which is said to contain Mr. Biden’s personal data. The crux of the trial was Twitter’s decision to temporarily ban tweets about a New York Post item on the laptop. According to the former Twitter executives, this was because they suspected it included content that had been illegally hacked.
Republicans said that the decision was made in conjunction with a letter from former intelligence agents identifying the laptop as Russian misinformation and that it was intended to bury information about Hunter Biden and his father before the 2020 election.
“America witnessed a coordinated campaign by social media companies, mainstream news, and the intelligence community to suppress and de-legitimize the existence of Hunter Biden’s laptop and its contents,” said committee Chairman James Comer.
According to Vijaya Gadde, a former chief legal officer at Twitter, some of the photographs in the tweets from the New York Post piece appeared to have been obtained via hacking. “We had developed a policy to prevent Twitter from becoming a dumping ground for hacked materials. We applied this policy to the New York Post’s tweets and blocked links to articles,” Gadde said.
According to the former executives, Twitter’s restrictions were created to reduce content that can incite political violence, such as the attack Trump supporters carried out on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. “I am here to tell you that doing nothing is not an option. If we continue to do nothing, violence is going to happen again,” said Anika Collier Navaroli, a former member of Twitter’s U.S. safety policy team.