Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chair of the House Oversight Committee, is demanding documents from the free speech social network Parler related to its financing after last month’s deadly attack on the Capitol.
In her letter to Parler’s chief operating officer Jeffrey Wernick Monday, Maloney called on the company to hand over documents outlining who or what entities have ever had any control over the company, a list of some of its creditors, and any documents or communications tying the company to a Russian individual or entity.
“Since the attacks, numerous Parler users have been arrested and charged for their roles, with the Department of Justice citing in several instances the threats that individuals made through Parler in the days leading up to and following the attack,” wrote Maloney. “Individuals with ties to the January 6 assault should not—and must not—be allowed to hide behind the veil of anonymity provided by shell companies.”
Earlier this month, Maloney called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to “conduct a robust examination of the role that the social media site Parler played” in the pro-Trump assault on the Capitol.
After several Parler users were arrested for participating in the January 6th attack on the Capitol, the company’s finances have been the subject of numerous news reports and now a congressional inquiry. Last year, Rebekah Mercer, a prominent conservative donor, revealed that she was helping fund Parler. Mercer is the daughter of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund manager who bankrolled the now-defunct political data shop Cambridge Analytica.
BuzzFeed News reported last week that former President Donald Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, sought stake in Parler in order for him to start an account on the platform. BuzzFeed said that Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40 percent stake in the company.
Late last month, Parler’s CEO John Matze was fired. In an Axios interview Sunday, Matze said he felt “betrayed” by Rebekah Mercer after he was casted out from the company and said he didn’t want to make a deal with the Trump Organization.
Parler has been removed from both Apple and Google’s app stores and forced offline after Amazon Web Services pulled out from hosting the website last month. It’s unclear when or if Parler will come back online.