As Google and Facebook representatives are preparing to testify before the Senate Tuesday and Wednesday, a new Politico report notes that many of the lawmakers they’ll be answering to have received thousands of dollars’ worth of donations from the companies.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will be questioning Facebook and Google, both companies of which exert global influence and often donate to political campaigns.
Congressional investigators are interested in whether Russian firms, with or without the influence of the Kremlin, have been using the social media platforms to influence the American electorate.
As Google reps testify, they will be reporting to politicians to whom they have made enormous financial contributions. According to Politico, 52 out of the 55 legislators who sit on at least one of those three committees have benefited from said donations, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Likewise, Facebook is responsible for donating to 40 of the 55 committee members.
The donations may be associated with both parties, the money split between politicians whose interests in the tech companies vary. However, the fact that the politicians receive donations from the companies doesn’t mean the lawmakers won’t “grill the executives during questioning,” according to the Daily Caller
“In fact,” the DC reports, “[T]he hearings will be an opportunity for the congressmen to show that they aren’t beholden to donors — no matter how powerful or affluent — so congenial inquiries may actually turn into testy interrogation.”
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