House Intel Says It Plans To Host Open Hearing With Tech Firms On Russia

Tom Williams/CQPHO

The House Intelligence Committee announced Wednesday that it plans to hold an open hearing on Russia with representatives from tech companies in the “coming months,” although it is unclear when exactly the hearing will be, which tech firms have been invited and whether those firms will agree to appear voluntarily.

The hearing will be about “how Russia used online tools and platforms to sow discord in and influence our election,” according to a statement from Reps. Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Republican and Democrat leading the committee’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) has recused himself from the probe.

“Congress and the American people need to hear this important information directly from these companies,” the statement read.

Scrutiny on how the Russians used social media to influence the 2016 campaign has increased since Facebook disclosed that about 3,000 ads were purchased by some 500 inauthentic Russian-linked accounts. Facebook has reportedly turned over information about the ads to special counsel Robert Mueller, and also is cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s efforts to understand more about Russia’s campaign-related activities on Facebook. Twitter, too, reportedly is meeting with Senate Intel investigators behind closed doors this week.