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House Judiciary subpoenas FTC chair for stonewalling on docs related to Twitter investigation

Lina Khan's justification for "harass[ing]" company after Elon Musk's purchase is "pretextual at best," Rep. Jordan says.

April 12, 2023 1:56pm

Updated: April 12, 2023 1:58pm

The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed FTC Chair Lina Khan for not voluntarily turning over documents and other information related to the agency's investigation of Twitter following Elon Musk's purchase.

The FTC demanded, among other things, the identities of journalists Musk invited to comb through the Twitter Files.

Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Khan in a letter Wednesday that her rationale for the investigation, in response to the Weaponization of the Federal Government Subcommittee's inquiry, was "pretextual at best."

She cited Twitter's alleged violation of an agreement with the agency on its privacy practices, but the FTC's demands went beyond the scope of that order and it only pledged unspecified "further engagement" with the committee while withholding all requested documents, according to Jordan.

At a recent hearing the FTC's congressional liaison could not say which agency employee was overseeing compliance with congressional requests and "provided no information as to what information had been gathered or what sources were being reviewed for production, if any," the letter says.

The Judiciary Committee requires FTC records to inform possible "legislative reforms" including "laws to ensure that the FTC’s investigative and enforcement authority is not abused in ways that hurt commerce and competition or harm civil liberties and free speech," Jordan wrote.

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