The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has revealed plans to hold Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress in a vote to take place on Thursday.
The panel will hear the contempt report detailing how Zuckerberg failed to supply documents related to an investigation into supposed censorship by tech companies of conservatives.
According to reports, Zuckerberg “willfully refused” to comply with a subpoena issued in February, allegations Meta denies. If the vote passes, it will be up to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to hold a full house vote, likely in the fall.
Meta’s Response to Accusations
Meta spokesperson, Andy Stone, claims the tech firm had delivered more than 50,000 pages of both internal and external documents to the committee since February. He added that they also have made current and former employees available for interviews with lawmakers.
“For many months, Meta has operated in good faith with this committee’s sweeping requests for information,” Stone said in a statement.
If the House were to hold Zuckerberg in contempt, it would then be up to the Justice Department to decide whether or not to prosecute him.
Rep. Jim Jordan appears to be mounting pressure on Meta in particular. In addition to the Subpoena and threat of Contempt of Congress, Jordan also sent a letter to the tech company last week asking them to produce documents relating to content moderation on Threads, its new text-based app which rivals Twitter.
What Was the Subpoena for?
A number of tech firms were asked to hand over documentation relating to what the Republican party believe is widespread corporate censorship of conservative voices.
These orders came shortly after the Republicans took over the House in January, in a bid to make good on their promise to investigate Big Tech’s content moderation, particularly over COVID-19.
Four other global tech leaders, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet; Satya Nadella of Microsoft; Tim Cook of Apple; and Andy Jassy of Amazon.com, were all required to do the same but only Zuckerberg is under fire for supposedly withholding information.