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Senate Authorizes Subpoenas for Big Tech CEOs



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On Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee authorized subpoenas for the testimonies of the heads of Facebook, Twitter, Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. in a rare move amid a contentious election, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Senators cited the need to review Section 230, which gives these companies legal immunity with regards to controlling the content on their sites, along with privacy and additional issues.

The unanimous vote in the Senate shows the bipartisan support for reforming Section 230,” said Commissioner Brendan Barr of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in an exclusive comment to this reporter.

These large social media companies, often pejoratively called “Big Tech,” have received increasing criticism over the past few years for issues relating to the collection and use privacy and metadata of their users, the spreading of conspiracy theories and misinformation by some users, and what to do about hate speech on the platforms.

Apple, while not a social media platform, is regularly classified, too, as “Big Tech.” Holding these corporate giants accountable has made strange bedfellows out of both Republicans and Democrats, especially among their more “populist” factions.

The committee voted unanimously to authorize these subpoenas and then debated whether the hearing should take place before or after the November 3 election. While some Democrats expressed that they think it should happen after, the Republicans, who control the committee, seem likely to move forward with the hearings swiftly.

“On the eve of a momentous and highly charged election,” said committee chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), “it is imperative that this committee of jurisdiction and the American people receive a full accounting from the heads of these companies about their content moderation practices.”

The subpoenas were necessary, he added, because the CEOs had “declined to participate.”

While the highest-ranked Democrat on the committee, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), agreed to support the measure once the subpoenas’ intent was expanded to cover privacy concerns, she has some worries. “What I don’t want to see is a chilling effect on individuals who are in a process of trying to crack down on hate speech and misinformation about Covid during a pandemic,” she said.

“The unanimous vote in the Senate shows the bipartisan support for reforming Section 230,” said Commissioner Brendan Barr of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in an exclusive comment to this reporter. “The momentum now favors the adoption of commonsense reforms that will bring much needed accountability to Big Tech. I commend Senator Wicker and the Committee for ensuring that these Silicon Valley CEOs will respond to congressional oversight.”

The committee had originally asked the CEOs on September 18 to testify, according to people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports. After six days, Sen. Wicker announced plans to progress toward authorizing subpoenas, which is exceptionally quick by congressional standards. This speediness indicates the committee’s feeling of urgency to get public testimonies out of the “Big Tech” CEOs.

A spokeswoman for the committee, according to the same Journal piece, said that the panel will reach out to the companies again to schedule a hearing and, if the witnesses don’t appear in a timely manner, would formally issue them subpoenas.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: The Biden family received over $1 million from Chinese Companies



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The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed financial records that reveal the Biden family received payments that totaled more than 1 million dollars from accounts connected to Rob Walker, a business associate of Hunter Biden, who received numerous lucrative donations from Chinese firms – inherently connected to the Chinese Communist Party.

The financial records revealed that Hunter Biden and Jim Biden, Joe Biden’s brother, had worked with Walker. Why is this important? It is important because the investigation also revealed that Walker, Hunter and business associates James Gilliar and Tony Bobulinksi had a a joint-venture called Sinohawk Holdings, which was planning to partner with Chinese energy firm CEFC, according to reports.

Moreover, Bobulinski spoke out about the Biden families dealings with China. In an exclusive with Fox New’s Tucker Carlson last November, he accused President Biden of being directly entangled “in a plot to make millions of dollars as part of Bobulinski and the first son’s 2017 SinoHawk Holdings venture with the Chinese state-owned energy company CEFC,” as reported.

“Hunter Biden, in his own words, [has said] he is putting his entire family’s family legacy on the line to do business with the Chinese Communist Party [via] CEFC,” Bobulinski told Fox News. “(Hunter) says that in his own words, in numerous text messages and other things I’ve provided both to the FBI and other whistleblowers.”

The committee records were obtained by Republican Congressman and Committee Chairman, James Comer, after subpoenaing Bank of America. The articles revealed that “at least three family members” received large payments from a one of Walker’s bank accounts. That account is labeled as “Robinson Walker, LLC,” and one of the family members is Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s son Beau, according to Fox News.

Moreover, a spokesperson for the Biden legal team firmly stated that the payments did occur but it was only Hunter, Jim and Hallie who had received the payments from the Chinese firm. They said that the accounts “belonged to Hunter, his uncle and Hallie – nobody else.”

Furthermore, the records revealed that the Chinese firm State Energy HK Limited had wired 3 million dollars to Walkers account. This took place on the 1st of March, 2017, only a few months after Joe Biden had left the White House.

The committee noted that, “After the Robinson Walker, LLC account received $3 million from State Energy HK Limited, Biden family members and their companies began receiving incremental payments over a period of approximately three months,” continuing to state that, “The recipients of the money included Hallie Biden, companies associated with Hunter Biden and James Biden, and an unknown bank account identified as ‘Biden.’”


With the current tensions between the U.S., Russia, and China this should be a concern to all people residing in the United States. If the Biden family has been receiving payments from Chinese owned companies we should all be worried about the integrity of the family and the leverage China has over our current President. The real question is how exposed is the Biden family to Chinese influence?

What information could’ve been captured by Chinese intelligence and if so, how far did Chinese intelligence penetrate our government. It isn’t far fetched. Why, because President Biden was negligent with classified information, even as far back as his time in the Senate. The recent FBI raids revealed that  top secret documents found in Biden’s office also were obtained during his time as  Vice President.

More importantly, the Biden family finances expose a very real threat to our republic, when our leadership is on the payroll of our adversaries. And even if Biden didn’t directly receive payments from China, his family did and that in and of itself, doesn’t mean he didn’t profit from it.

We will continue to follow the story and keep you updated.

You can follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC

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