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Senate committee threatens to subpoena Facebook, Google, Twitter execs

The Senate Commerce Committee is threatening to subpoena Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey to testify at an Oct. 1 hearing about Section 230 reform. The aggressive move comes just as the Department of Justice, White House and state attorneys general ramp up their moves against the social media giants 40 days before the presidential election.

A committee spokesperson confirmed that Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker has notified his Democratic counterpart that he intends to issue subpoenas to the Twitter, Google and Facebook CEOs. Committee staff are set to engage with company representatives later on Thursday.

The committee sent the invitations to all three companies on Friday evening and asked for a response by Monday morning, according to a source familiar with the invitations – an extremely tight turnaround for any congressional hearing, and particularly an executive invite. The House Judiciary Committee spent months negotiating over testimony from the Big Tech CEOs before its blockbuster hearing earlier this summer.

'Woke tech' and 'the new slave power': Conservatives gather for Vegas summit

An agenda for the event, hosted by the Claremont Institute, listed speakers including U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The so-called "Digital Statecraft Summit" was organized by the Claremont Institute. The speakers include U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as a who's-who of far-right provocateurs.

Photo: David Vives/Unsplash

Conservative investors, political operatives, right-wing writers and Trump administration officials are quietly meeting in Las Vegas this weekend to discuss topics including China, "woke tech" and "the new slave power," according to four people who were invited to attend or speak at the event as well as a copy of the agenda obtained by Protocol.

The so-called "Digital Statecraft Summit" was organized by the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank that says its mission is to "restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life." A list of speakers for the event includes a combination of past and current government officials as well as a who's who of far-right provocateurs. One speaker, conservative legal scholar John Eastman, rallied the president's supporters at a White House event before the Capitol Hill riot earlier this month. Some others have been associated with racist ideologies.

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Emily Birnbaum

Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.

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