House Republicans seek to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt for willfully refusing to comply with a subpoena.

House Republicans seek to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt for willfully refusing to comply with a subpoena.

House Judiciary Committee Plans Hearing on Mark Zuckerberg’s Refusal to Comply with Subpoena

Mark Zuckerberg

The House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), is gearing up for a high-stakes hearing to address Mark Zuckerberg’s alleged refusal to comply with a February subpoena. Jordan announced the committee’s plans to vote on a contempt report during this week’s hearing, accusing Zuckerberg of “willfully refusing” to cooperate. If the measure passes the GOP-controlled committee, it will then be up to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to schedule a full House vote on the contempt resolution, possibly taking place after the August recess.

Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, previously known as Facebook, could potentially face prosecution by the Justice Department if he is held in contempt by the House. In response to the accusations, Meta’s spokesperson, Andy Stone, defended the company’s actions, stating that they have provided over 50,000 pages of documents to the committee since February. Stone also emphasized that Meta has 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.

The subpoenas issued by Jordan targeted the chief executives of the five largest tech companies, with Zuckerberg being one of them. This move by Republicans comes after they gained control of the House in January, fulfilling a campaign promise to investigate content moderation practices by Big Tech, particularly regarding COVID-19. The other CEOs, namely Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Tim Cook of Apple, and Andy Jassy of, were also asked to submit any documents related to their alleged corporate censorship of conservative voices.

Notably absent from the list of subpoenaed companies was Twitter, whose owner is Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla. Musk has shown more sympathy towards conservatives compared to the previous management of Twitter, making Republicans in Congress more supportive of him. In February, Republicans held hearings with former Twitter executives, during which GOP lawmakers scrutinized the company’s decision to initially block a New York Post article in October 2020 relating to Hunter Biden’s laptop.

However, Jordan has been specifically targeting Meta, ratcheting up the pressure on Zuckerberg. Last week, Jordan sent a letter to Zuckerberg, demanding a new set of documents specifically related to content moderation on Meta’s new app called Threads, which aims to rival Twitter.

It remains to be seen how the House Judiciary Committee hearing will unfold and whether the contempt resolution against Mark Zuckerberg will proceed. The outcome of this high-profile case could have significant implications for both Meta and the broader tech industry.

Associated Press reporter Barbara Ortutay in San Francisco contributed to this report.