Republicans Reveal Their Next Target in Oversight Crusade

The Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Accountability revealed their newest target as Chairman James Comer previously promised that the committee would begin investigating "waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the federal government."

In a press release on Thursday morning, the House Oversight Committee announced that they would be holding a meeting next week titled "Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter's Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story."

"At the hearing, lawmakers on the panel will question three former Twitter employees who censored the New York Post's reporting on the Biden family's business schemes based on information obtained from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop," the committee said in the statement.

In a statement to Newsweek, Comer said, "In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Big Tech and the Swamp colluded to censor reporting about the Biden family's shady business schemes. The U.S. intelligence community and the FBI frequently communicated with Big Tech and advised Twitter executives to question the validity of any Hunter Biden story—before the New York Post ever reported on it."

"Americans deserve answers about this attack on the First Amendment and why Big Tech and the Swamp colluded to censor this information about the Biden family selling access for profit. Accountability is coming," Comer added.

The announcement by the Oversight Committee on Thursday comes shortly after it held a hearing to investigate possible scams related to pandemic relief programs.

House Oversight Committee James Comer
Above, Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, awaits the start of a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on February 1, 2023. Inset: The U.S. Capitol is pictured on June 5, 2003, in Washington, D.C. Comer has announced a scheduled hearing next week to investigate Twitter and the Hunter Biden laptop story. Getty Images/Anna Moneymaker; Stefan Zaklin

"This Committee will evaluate the hundreds of billions of dollars of grants and loans doled out from nearly every agency in the federal government, to ensure those funds were appropriately used to respond to the pandemic, and not wasted on ineligible payees or unrelated matters," Comer said.

Earlier this week, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee issued a fraud alert saying that they identified "69,323 questionable Social Security Numbers (SSNs) used to obtain $5.4 billion from the Small Business Administration's (SBA) COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (COVID-19 EIDL) program and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)."

The hearing to investigate Twitter and the story surrounding the laptop belonging to the son of U.S. President Joe Biden will feature testimonies from three former Twitter employees. In December, Twitter CEO Elon Musk teased the release of "Twitter Files," which eventually were posted by journalist Matt Taibbi and appeared to show emails and conversations between former Twitter employees discussing the story from the New York Post.

In addition to the hearing scheduled to investigate Twitter, the House Oversight Committee is also scheduled to hold a hearing on the president's "border crisis." Since taking office, Biden has faced vast criticism from Republicans in regard to his border policies.

In December, Comer published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where he detailed how Republicans will use the House Oversight Committee to investigate numerous aspects of the federal government.

"On every front, President Biden's policies have been a disaster. Americans are facing historic inflation, skyrocketing energy costs, the worst border crisis in U.S. history, and surging fentanyl overdoses," Comer said.

"That will change in January when the GOP assumes its House majority. In the new Congress, Republicans will return the committee to its proper role: rooting out waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the federal government. Committee members will conduct credible oversight, identify problems, and propose reforms."

Update: 2/2/23, 3:36 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a statement from James Comer.