Republicans tend to like Elon Musk. They're rooting for him as he tries to buy Twitter. And now, they want Twitter to keep a paper trail of Musk's attempt to take it over. That way, it'll be much easier to examine Twitter if and when it rejects Musk's bid.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee asked Twitter chairman Bret Taylor and other members of the company's board to keep a record of any back-and-forth related to Musk's offer to buy the company, according to a letter shared with CNBC. Musk said Thursday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he had secured enough funding — $46.5 billion — to make good on his offer to purchase Twitter.
“As Congress continues to examine Big Tech and how to best protect Americans’ free speech rights, this letter serves as a formal request that you preserve all records and materials relating to Musk’s offer to purchase Twitter, including Twitter’s consideration and response to this offer, and Twitter’s evaluation of its shareholder interests with respect to Musk’s offer,” the lawmakers wrote.
If Republicans successfully take control of the House following November's midterm election this fall, they would be able to subpoena records and launch an investigation into Twitter, especially if the company rejects Musk's offer. Right-wing politicians, commentators and other figures, especially those still upset about Donald Trump's ban from Twitter, are cheering for the self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" to win. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already threatened Twitter with a lawsuit if the purchase doesn't go through.
The lawmakers also wrote that they're concerned about "outsider opposition to Musk's role in Twitter's future." Twitter employees have pushed back on Musk's attempts to buy the company, raising concerns that Musk would reverse the platform's hard-won work around content moderation and user safety. Twitter itself is also enacting a so-called "poison pill" to make it harder for a purchase to happen.
"Twitter’s board members have fiduciary duties to the company’s shareholders," the letter states. "These duties apply despite how many corporations’ leaders increasingly pursue progressive policy goals divorced from shareholder interests."