House Sues FBI Agent For Defying Subpoena

FBI agent Elvis Chan is being sued by the House Judiciary Committee for defying a congressional subpoena. The subpoena is related to big tech companies’ alleged collusion with the federal government to suppress free speech.

Mr. Chan reportedly played a key role in the alleged collusion, acting as the “primary liaison” between tech companies and the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force. The House Judiciary Committee initially issued Chan a subpoena in September 2023 after he refused to voluntarily testify earlier.

The House Judiciary Committee is a group of Representatives who oversee judicial and legal matters pertaining to the government. The Committee is generally in charge of handling matters of justice or impeachment in the federal government. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is the current Chair of the Committee, and since his appointment, he’s been investigating potential infringement on the First Amendment by the federal government.

The Committee is investigating possible collusion between federal government officials and technology companies, particularly social media companies. The investigation alleges that the government worked with social media companies to suppress controversial viewpoints or people, particularly right-wing opinions and commentators, using the excuse of “combatting misinformation.” Some of the controversial topics included COVID-19’s origins and the usefulness of face masks, as well as stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

The Justice Department ordered Chan not to appear before the Committee, a directive he obeyed. The Department said that they only ordered Chan not to appear because House Rules stated that agency council for Chan could not be present. Agency council would not be someone who represents Chan’s interests but rather the Executive Branch as a whole.

The Committee has argued that this refusal lacks any legal justification and is hoping that by suing him in court, the court can order him to appear immediately and testify. Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte sent Rep. Jordan a letter arguing that agency council is necessary whenever an agent is testifying in their official capacity.

The investigation is still ongoing, and the Committee has subpoenaed members of Big Tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The Committee has also subpoenaed the FBI and Justice Department for documents related to the investigation.