House GOP leaders hinted Wednesday that they may pursue legal action related to former Twitter and FBI lawyer James Baker’s involvement in the suppression of 2020 media reports related to Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The Republican leaders, who are slated to assume leadership roles when the GOP take majority control of the House early next year, suggested that all options are on the table when asked by Fox News Digital whether they would pursue legal action or issue any subpoenas related to recent reports about Baker. Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced Tuesday that Baker had been ‘exited’ from the company for suppressing information.
‘Stay tuned,’ a House Judiciary Committee GOP spokesperson told Fox News Digital in an email when asked about potential legal actions the committee could take.
Late last week, independent journalist Matt Taibbi released a trove of internal Twitter files that revealed company communications following the release of photos and messages on a laptop belonging to President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, shortly before the 2020 presidential election.
Baker, who Twitter hired as its deputy general counsel in June 2020, said in an email — following a New York Post story published on Oct. 14, 2020, that highlighted information from the laptop — that Twitter needed ‘more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked’ and added that ‘it’s reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted.’
Twitter ultimately suppressed the story and suspended the New York Post’s account for two weeks, sparking outcry from Republicans who thought the story could have played a role in the election.
Prior to joining Twitter, Baker also served as a general counsel for the FBI and played a key role in the agency’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
‘Twitter holds former FBI employees accountable for their actions. But the FBI doesn’t,’ Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the current ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, tweeted Wednesday.
In addition, on Tuesday, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, penned a letter to Baker, asking him to appear before the committee during the next Congress. The letter noted Baker’s reported role in censoring the laptop story.
‘The American people deserve to know why Twitter took down the Hunter Biden laptop story even when your colleagues were questioning the rationale for suppression [of] the story,’ Comer wrote in the letter. ‘Your testimony will provide the Committee critical context regarding the Twitter censorship team’s decision to prohibit users from sharing information about a presidential candidate.’
A spokesperson for Comer said the first step was to ask for Baker to testify before the committee but that the ranking member was prepared to take further action if Baker chose not to cooperate.
‘We expect him to cooperate with the Oversight Committee’s request to appear at a public hearing,’ the spokesperson told Fox News Digital. ‘The committee is prepared to use any tools at its disposal to ensure his cooperation in order to provide transparency to the American people.’
Comer also sent similar letters Tuesday to Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former chief legal officer, and Yoel Roth, the company’s former global head of trust and safety.
Comer and other Republican lawmakers announced in November that they would prioritize their investigation into Hunter Biden when they take control of the House.
Under current House rules, the chairmen of both the House Judiciary Committee and Oversight Committee have the authority to authorize a subpoena and sign or issue a subpoena, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Baker didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fox News Digital reporter Alexander Hall contributed to this report.