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Elon Musk calls for Congress to investigate FBI; asks Schiff if he approved ‘state censorship’

Elon Musk. (Brendan Smialowski/La Nacion via ZUMA Press/TNS)
December 22, 2022

Twitter CEO Elon Musk recently called for Congress to investigate the FBI over alleged social media censorship as he continues releasing internal “Twitter Files” showing the agency’s influence over the site’s previous leaders.

The FBI’s regular contact with Twitter ahead of the 2020 election apparently spurred restrictions on sharing the so-called Hunter Biden laptop story, a recent flashpoint in issues of free speech and election interference.

On Tuesday, Musk replied, “Hear, hear!!” to a tweet that said: “We need a new Church Commission to investigate why the FBI and Intelligence Community are engaged in social media censorship, including the suppression of the Hunter Biden story.”

The Church Committee was a group of senators who investigated the intelligence community in 1975, revealing abusive and controversial programs.

But even as Musk called for a congressional FBI probe, he called lawmakers themselves into question. He directly asked Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, whether he approved “hidden state censorship in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States.”

In a prior tweet, Musk highlighted “Twitter Files” reporting that the FBI had paid Twitter millions of dollars for the time it took to collaborate with the agency.

Schiff responded about two hours later, but did not directly answer the question and pivoted to a question of his own.

“I don’t support censorship. Or hate speech,” Schiff said. “As the (outgoing) CEO of Twitter, how about you? Why not do more to stop slurs against Black people, LGBTQ+ people, Jewish people, and others? Do you commit to providing the public with actual answers and data, not just tweets?”

Musk has been signaling an imminent resignation as head of Twitter, which he bought for $44 billion in October. Free speech was a focal point of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s acquisition, but new policies have often been controversial and chaotically implemented.

This article originally labeled Rep. Adam Schiff as “(R-CA)” when it should have said “(D-CA).” The article has been corrected. American Military News regrets this error.