Over the past 48 hours, the country has been rocked once again by video of the systematic murder of a black American named George Floyd, the country surpassed the 100,000 mark on deaths from COVID-19, and protesters have taken to the streets demanding not to be murdered by those sworn to protect and serve them.
The REAL story, though, is how Trump is being mistreated on Twitter.
NEW: Ted Cruz is calling for a criminal investigation of Twitter over allegations the company is violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. https://t.co/Q4OVFe1WHy
— Axios (@axios) May 29, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) previously called for an investigation into whether Twitter violated U.S. sanctions against providing goods and services to the country of Iran during a time of conflict between Iran and the United States. That call had been shelved for several weeks until the social media platform fact-checked two of Donald Trump’s tweets, prompting him to sign an executive order regulating social media outlet’s “censorship.” Suddenly, Cruz’s outrage at Twitter has been sparked anew.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Cruz wrote:
‘I write to urge you to open an investigation into Twitter, Inc. (Twitter) for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) (50 U.S.C. §§ 1701 et seq.) and sanctionable activities prohibited by Executive Order 13876 (E.O. 13876).’
But this is false. Twitter is immune from being sued for things that *third parties* say on its website; Twitter is not immune from being sued for things *Twitter* says. This is also true for CNN, which can be sued for its speech, but not its commenters’. https://t.co/yIz9YtTwwx
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) May 29, 2020
Cruz painted his stance as being committed to upholding laws about U.S. sanctions, but the letter demanding a criminal investigation comes at a very convenient time for the Republican Party. Americans are dying in the midst of a pandemic and Americans are outraged at the murder of yet another innocent black man, but Trump is angry at Twitter. Cruz seems to be picking up that thread.
‘I believe that the primary goal of IEEPA and sanctions law should be to change the behavior of designated individuals and regimes, not American companies. But when a company willfully and openly violates the law after receiving formal notice that it is unlawfully supporting designated individuals, the federal government should take action. That is why IEEPA includes criminal penalties of up to $1 million in fines and imprisonment for up to 20 years for willful violations. It is also why E.O. 13876 authorizes sanctions against “any person” who is determined to have “provided technological support for, or goods or services to” such designated persons.’
So far, there have been no letters from Ted Cruz demanding an investigation into the murder of George Floyd. He hasn’t demanded an investigation into how the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 has killed more than 100,000 Americans. But Twitter fact-checking the president? Now, that’s a true outrage.
‘The cohesion and legitimacy of our laws rest on their equal application to all citizens and entities, no matter how large or how powerful. The Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice should investigate what appears to be Twitter’s blatant and willful violation of IEEPA and E.O. 13876 by providing services to Khamenei, Zarif, and other designated Iranian entities, and, to the extent appropriate, enforce any violation through sanctions and by seeking civil and criminal penalties.’
Ted Cruz calls for CRIMINAL investigation into Twitter for potentially ‘violating US sanctions against Iran’ – The US Sun https://t.co/jOn0c4FWEO
— Manny Alicandro (@Manny_Alicandro) May 29, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube