House Democrats Demand Parler Hand Over List of Investors, Creditors

Parler Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Parler Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

House Democrats are demanding that Parler, the social media company that billed itself as a competitor to Twitter, turn over a list of its investors and creditors, citing a report that former President Donald Trump was offered a stake in the company.

“These negotiations reportedly occurred while President Trump was still in office,” House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) wrote in a Monday letter to the company’s chief operating officer, Jeffrey Wernick.

Maloney said she wanted the company to turn over a “shareholder registered” listing all of its stakeholders, including “individuals and entities with direct or indirect ownership interests,” as well as any entity to whom Parler owes $10,000 or more, “including the type of debt funding, amount owed, maturity, and applicable interest rate.”

The letter comes after Parler’s board ousted former CEO John Matze last week, a move that came after the platform’s January removal from App stores hosted by Apple and Google. The tech giants said they were removing Parler until it developed a policy for moderating user content. Amazon’s cloud services division, which hosted the website, followed suit, taking Parler offline a few days later.

Matze attributed the Parler board’s decision to terminate him, in part, to his support for developing moderation policies that would comply with the requests from the tech companies.

Aided by Trump’s feud with tech giants over the course of the 2020 election, Parler said it had acquired more than 12 million users by the close of the year. But the list never grew to include the former president, who was reportedly dissuaded from joining before the election by aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino. Twitter and Facebook removed Trump entirely after January’s unrest in Washington, D.C., just before Parler was exiled from the tech industry.

Maloney additionally asked Parler to hand over agreements “with any Russian individual or entity,” along with any communications related to “proposed or completed financing, gifts, or investment” by anyone connected to Russia.

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