Lawmakers clash at tech antitrust hearing: 'Put your mask on!'

The House Judiciary subcommittee on antirust turned into a partisan brawl as lawmakers questioned the CEOs of the nation’s largest tech companies on Wednesday.

The hearing featured testimony from the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. Democrats in the committee largely focused their questioning on whether the tech giants have engaged in monopolistic behavior while Republicans asked about whether their platforms have anti-conservative bias. 


Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking member of the full committee, asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai if his company would “tailor its features to help Joe BidenJoe BidenStudent debt: It's the interest stupid US maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion To stabilize Central America, the US must craft better incentives for trade MORE in the 2020 election,” referring to the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. 

Jordan brought up an email that was published by Breitbart in 2016, which showed Google’s head of multicultural marketing, Eliana Murillo, describing the company’s efforts to help a nonpartisan Latino voter mobilization nonprofit. Pichai maintained that the company has never showed preferential treatment for a political campaign but has adjusted its policies to restrict its employees' expression of partisan views in a professional capacity. 

The Ohio congressman said that was evidence of Google's effort to promote former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE during the 2016 presidential election.


“We'd like to redirect you to antitrust law instead of fringe conspiracy theories," Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.) said, following Jordan’s remarks. 

“We have the email, there is no fringe conspiracy theory," the Ohio Republican interrupted.

As Democratic members told Jordan to respect decorum, Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinOath Keeper charges renew attention on Trump orbit Carville advises Democrats to 'quit being a whiny party' Biden makes final Fed board picks MORE (D-Md.) told him to “put your mask on.” The hearing came hours before Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertFocus on Perry could mean more subpoenas, challenges for Jan. 6 panel Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker MORE (R-Texas), a member of the committee who was present at a hearing Tuesday, announced he tested positive for COVID-19.

“If you want to talk about masks, why would the deputy secretary of treasury unmask Michael Flynn’s name, Mr. Raskin?” Jordan said, bringing up an unrelated political dispute, the "unmasking” of a former Trump national security adviser and campaign official. 

“Mr. Jordan, you do not have the time!” antitrust subcommittee Chairman David CicillineDavid CicillineDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit In their own words: Lawmakers, staffers remember Jan. 6 insurrection Lawmakers call for investigation into proposed AT&T WarnerMedia, Discovery merger MORE (D-R.I.) declared as he slammed the gavel. 

“When someone comes after my motives for asking questions, I get a chance to respond,” Jordan said before letting Scanlon continue.