Parler social media site founder new target of Jan. 6 committee: report
Jan 6 Insurrection (AFP)

The Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol is turning its attention to the pro-Trump social media site Parler, according to a new report by Rolling Stone magazine.

"John Matze, the founder and first CEO of Parler, is facing a subpoena from congressional investigators as part of their investigation into the insurrection. Matze has hired Nixon Peabody lawyer Brian T. Kelly, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, to represent him," Adam Rawnsley and Asawin Suebsaeng reported.

The committee has conducted hundreds of interviews and sent scores of subpoenas.

"In reaching out to Matze, the committee is hoping to hear from someone who was once in charge of a platform where a number of high-profile participants in the insurrection gathered to whip up support for the attack. Since the insurrection, however, Matze has fallen out with some of the titans of Trumpworld who invested in Parler," the report explained. "In a lawsuit filed against Parler and investors in March 2021, MAGA mega-donor Rebekah Mercer and right-wing pundit Dan Bongino, Matze claimed he was 'abruptly and unceremoniously' fired in late January 2021 after the company rejected his suggestions for “reasonable moderation policies.'"

Trump subsequently launched his own Twitter alternative.

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"While apps such as Facebook have been mentioned more often in court documents related to the insurrection, Parler has drawn particular scrutiny for its role in hosting prominent members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers," the report explained. "Days after the attack, activists scraped and published 35 terabytes of Parler user data posted to the platform, revealing over 500 videos of the attack uploaded by Parler users present on the grounds of the Capitol that day, according to data analyzed by ProPublica."

Read the full report.