Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee said they expect their impending probe into politicization at the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to include a look under the hood of Meta.
The company formerly known as Facebook is facing growing questions about its relationship with the FBI in the run-up to its removal from Post reporting on Hunter Biden in October 2020.
“The upcoming Congressional Judiciary Committee should probe the politicization of our intelligence community – particularly the influence and infiltration of Twitter, Facebook and other technology and social media companies,” said Rep. Darrell Issa ( R-Calif.) to the Post.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), another committee member, added that “the national security state operation against ‘We the People’ is taking place on many platforms.”
The heightened scrutiny comes as the trove of internal documents that Twitter owner Elon Musk released to independent reporters showed a seemingly close working relationship between the FBI and the social media company in the months leading up to the The Post report on Hunter Biden’s abandoned hard drive.
Like Twitter, Facebook also removed The Post’s Hunter Biden cover after it was published. And like Twitter, Facebook was approached by the FBI ahead of the 2020 election. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg made the revelation in August during an interview with podcast host Joe Rogan and said that the FBI had warned the company of a potential drop in “Russian propaganda”.
Twitter and Facebook have both stocked their businesses with former G-men and women, a trend that appears to have started after the 2016 election.
Aaron Berman, Meta’s top “disinformation” policy officer, is a former CIA senior director of analysis who spent 17 years with the agency, from March 2002 to July 2019 – at a any given moment, writing the president’s daily briefings.
He was publicly friendly with his Twitter counterpart Yoel Roth – and the two occasionally interacted on the site. Roth still follows him there. Both men were also Democratic donors, according to Federal Election Commission records.
On his LinkedIn, Berman said he is focused on “creating safe and constructive online spaces for corporations” and that his work at Facebook involves “strategic policy work to ensure policies appropriately balance the combating harm and promoting freedom of expression”.
Steve Friend, a former FBI agent turned whistleblower, said the broader leftward tilt of middle and senior management in the bureau and other intelligence agencies had spoken out.
“There’s this belief that half the country are domestic terrorists and we can’t have a conversation with them,” Friend said. “There is a fundamental belief that unless you express what we agree with, it is understood that you are the enemy.”