We’ve mentioned in nearly every single one of our posts about this week’s dustup between the president and Twitter that the Ayatollah has an account on the company’s platform, where he routinely spouts dangerously anti-American rhetoric, without drawing even a whiff of scrutiny from Twitter (or the American left),
Now, as the GOP cranks up the pressure on Trump’s (least) favorite social media company, Senator Ted Cruz is calling for a full-on investigation of how the company treats foreign leaders who use the platform. To be sure, this isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere – Cruz led an earlier pressure campaign to convince Twitter to boot senior Iranian officials off the platform, even insinuating that not doing so would violate international sanctions against Iran, as Axios reported.
In a letter sent to the DoJ and the Treasury Department on Friday, Cruz asked Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate whether Twitter’s refusal to comply with Cruz’s request violates US sanctions prohibiting American companies from providing goods and services to senior officials of targeted nations.
Cruz isn’t alone: Sen Josh Hawley suggested earlier this week that Twitter’s move to affix these “warnings” to Trump’s tweets was politically motivated. In a letter to Dorsey, Hawley wrote that the decision “raises serious questions about whether Twitter targeted the President for political reasons.”
Shortly after Cruz first raised the issue, twitter responded by arguing that its service is exempt from the sanctions, and that the public conversation on the platform is critically important during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Fundamental values of openness, free expression, public accountability, and mutual understanding matter now more than ever,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s legal, public policy & trust and safety lead, wrote. “Regardless of the political agenda of a particular nation state, to deny our service to their leaders at a time like this would be antithetical to the purpose of our company, which is to serve the global public conversation.”
Twitter has long maintained that it’s important to have public figures use the platform, even if they use the platform to attack the US.
Read Cruz’s letter below: