U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for a criminal investigation into allegations of Violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran by Twitter in a letter to the Justice Department and Treasury Department on Friday,media reported. Important reason: President Trump has lashed out at Twitter for adding fact-checking and warning labels to his misleading and inflammatory tweets in recent days. Mr. Cruz’s letter casts another shadow over the tech company’s plight in Washington.
DETAILS: Twitter allowed Iranian leaders to keep their accounts on their services, and Cruz asked Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate whether they violated a U.S. ban on U.S. companies supplying goods or services to senior Iranian officials.
“I believe that the main goal of the (International Emergency Economic Powers Act) and sanctions should be to change the behavior of designated individuals and regimes, not American companies,” Cruz wrote. But when a company is formally notified that it illegally supports a designated individual and deliberately discloses the law, the federal government should take action. “
Overall: Twitter says it believes it is in the public interest to make politicians’ comments offensive on their platform.
On Friday, local time, the company tweeted a tweet about Trump’s protests in Minneapolis, tagging it and saying it violated the rules of “glorifying violence.”
Prominent conservatives, including the White House and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, questioned why Twitter did not label tweets by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
BACKGROUND: In February, Cruz led Republican senators to write to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, calling on the company to ban the Iranian leader’s account. The senators suggested that supporting the existence of these accounts might violate U.S. sanctions.
Twitter responded in April, saying its services were not affected by sanctions and that public conversations on the platform were crucial during the new corona virus pandemic.
“The fundamental values of openness, freedom of expression, public accountability, and mutual understanding are now more important than ever,” wrote Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s director of law, public policy, trust and security. “
Twitter declined to comment on Cruz’s new letter.