On Thursday, the House Oversight Committee called for an FBI investigation into Parler’s involvement in the deadly attack on the Capitol this month.
In a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray, House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) called for the bureau to “conduct a robust examination of the role that the social media site Parler played” in the January 6th pro-Trump assault on the Capitol. Maloney said that the committee intends to open its own investigation and requested a meeting with FBI officials regarding the status and scope of any future investigation into the social media platform.
House Oversight Chair @RepMaloney writes a letter asking FBI Director Christopher Wray to "conduct a robust examination of the role that the social media site Parler played in the assault" on the Capitol on January 6. pic.twitter.com/05OODsFeEH— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 21, 2021
In an interview with The Washington Post, Maloney said “I am going to get to the bottom of who owns and funds social media platforms like Parler that condone and create violence.”
In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Parler receives financial support from the conservative hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. The Mercers are known for financially backing conservative causes and organizations like the now defunct Cambridge Analytica.
In the letter, Maloney cites several instances in which Parler users were arrested and charged for “threatening violence against elected officials” and discussed organizing groups of protests on the platform. In the days following the deadly Capitol attack, Parler has been booted from both Apple and Google’s app stores and forced offline after several web hosts refused to service the site. As of press time, Parler is still offline.
Last week, the FBI announced that it had received over 100,000 pieces of digital evidence following the Capitol riot. It’s not clear how much of this evidence is unique, but FBI officials have opened more than 150 cases into individual rioters.