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U.S. House panel subpoenas social media firms in Jan. 6 attack probe

The subpoenas to the tech companies are the latest development in the House Select Committee's investigation into the causes of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters, and the role played by Trump, who has pushed false claims he lost a rigged election to Joe Biden.

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in Washington
FILE PHOTO: An explosion caused by a police munition is seen on Jan. 6, 2021, while supporters of President Donald Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington.
Leah Millis / Reuters

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Meta, Alphabet, Twitter and Reddit on Thursday, seeking information about how their social media sites were used to help fuel misinformation in a failed bid to overturn the 2020 election.

"Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps - if any -social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence," panel chairman Representative Bennie Thompson said in a statement.

"It's disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions."

The subpoenas to the tech companies are the latest development in the House Select Committee's investigation into the causes of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters, and the role played by Trump, who has pushed false claims he lost a rigged election to Joe Biden.

The committee has issued more than 50 subpoenas and heard from more than 300 witnesses. It is expected to release an interim report in the summer and a final report in the fall.

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Spokespeople for the four social media companies could not be immediately reached for comment.

Related Topics: JANUARY 6
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