Jim Jordan facing blowback as he appears to ease off Big Tech crusade
Congressman Jim Jordan speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Some conservatives are wary over Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) choosing to appoint Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) to lead the House's antitrust subcommittee, saying it may be a sign that he's backing off his crusade to go after Big Tech, Fox News reports.

Jordan chose Massie over Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who has led Republican efforts on antitrust reform.

"I was disappointed, but not surprised… when Jim told me that I would not be the subcommittee chair," Buck said in an interview with Fox News Digital, adding that Massie was not previously on the subcommittee and had voted against antitrust legislation that targeted Big Tech companies.

"I like Thomas, he's a good friend and I wish him the best, but it's pretty clear that Jim made a decision on what direction he wanted the committee to go," Buck said.

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"In my view, you need antitrust enforcement, you need Section 230 reform, and you need to look at the privacy laws. And a lot has been written about all three and the impact that all three would have in this area," Buck said. "To take antitrust off the table is a mistake."

As Fox News points out, some conservatives see Massie’s "anti-antitrust history and libertarian approach" as a sign that he won't deliver on the effort.

"The reason Big Tech can censor, silence, de-platform, or cancel conservatives is because they have monopoly power," Internet Accountability Project Mike Davis said. "And they use their monopoly power to shutter small businesses and crush competition. Section 230 reform is not going to pass this Congress. Antitrust reforms can pass if Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan get out of the way."

"They’ve really shown their cards here by passing over Ken Buck," Davis said.

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Rather than focusing on antitrust legislation, Jordan -- the head of the new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government -- appears to be more interested in an investigative war against President Joe Biden and the issue of censorship.

The new panel has asserted powers to oversee "ongoing criminal investigations" -- putting Republicans on a collision course with the DOJ, which has a history of fiercely protecting open probes.

It was created partly in response to the release of internal files by Twitter owner Elon Musk that Republicans say demonstrated that the company was working with government officials to silence right wing voices.

Jordan wrote to several tech giants in December asking for details of "'collusion' with the Biden administration to censor conservatives on their platforms."

But its top target is likely to be the FBI, which Republicans argue has been politicized by liberals, and its probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

With additional reporting by AFP