Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is threatening to take enforcement action against Google’s parent company Alphabet after it failed to produce the documents subpoenaed by the committee on its communications with the Biden administration, CNBC reported.
In February, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, along with the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft were issued subpoenas to turn over any communications with the federal government so the committee could determine the “extent the Executive Branch coerced and colluded” with Big Tech to “censor speech.” The companies were given until March 23 to comply with the subpoenas.
So far, the other companies have been more responsive to Jordan’s subpoena than Google has, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.
In a letter to Alphabet’s attorney, Jordan described the company’s compliance with the subpoena as “insufficient” and demanded that it turn over more information by May 22. If Alphabet fails to comply by the deadline, Jordan warns that the Judiciary Committee could be “forced to consider” using “one or more enforcement mechanisms,” including holding the CEO in contempt of Congress.
In addition to contempt of Congress, the other enforcement mechanisms at the Judiciary Committee’s disposal include seeking to depose the company’s management or trying to restrict federal funding from Alphabet in future legislation.
In his letter, Jordan accused Alphabet of frustrating the committee’s review by “unilaterally redacting key information” from the material it supplied making it impossible to “understand the context and content of the material.” Jordan said the company has not asserted that the redactions included privileged information and ordered the company to turn over unredacted versions.
According to Jordan, Alphabet has turned over 4,000 pages of documents in response to the February subpoena but still has not included an “appreciable volume” of the communications the committee believes it has, including communications with other social media companies about content moderation and messaging services, as well as any contacts between Google employees and the Biden administration.
A spokesperson for the company said in a statement that it has been providing “relevant documents” since December 2022 and “will continue” working “constructively” with the committee.