A House Democrat is asking that the FBI open an investigation into the role of Parler in stoking the Capitol insurrection.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chair of the House Oversight Committee, made the request in a Thursday letter to FBI Director Chris Wray.
In the letter, Maloney described Parler as “a potential facilitator
of planning and incitement related to the violence, as a repository of key evidence posted by users on its site, and as a potential conduit for foreign governments who may be financing civil unrest in the United States.”
The network, which was boosted by GOP politicians as a safe haven for the right, was knocked offline after the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt when Amazon Web Services stopped hosting the website.
Maloney said in the letter that she would conduct her own investigation, through the House Oversight Committee, into Parler’s role in the attack. She also requested that the FBI open its own probe into the matter and brief her on the status of the investigation.
Since then, Parler has partly returned with help from DDoS-Guard, a Russian technology firm that told TPM on Monday that it had agreed to provide protection for the website.
Maloney alleged in the letter that insurrectionists used the site to coordinate the Jan. 6 attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the election.
She asked the FBI to conduct “a robust review” of Parler’s role in the attack, and requested a briefing from FBI officials on the status of the probe.
Maloney also raised the prospect of whether Parler was serving as a vehicle for foreign infiltration of far-right movements in the U.S.; a concern shared by security researchers monitoring what could be a budding pro-Trump insurgency.
House lawmakers have opened a separate investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, which will encompass Parler’s role.
The site has received support from the Mercer family, who also backed Trump’s 2016 candidacy. Politicos like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have also publicly encouraged people to use the platform.
I’m proud to join @parler_app — a platform gets what free speech is all about — and I’m excited to be a part of it. Let’s speak. Let’s speak freely. And let’s end the Silicon Valley censorship. Follow me there @tedcruz! pic.twitter.com/pzUFvhipBZ
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 25, 2020
It’s about time y’all joined me on @parler_app . What’s taking the rest of you so long?!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 24, 2020
Read the letter here: