Ted Cruz calls for criminal investigation of Twitter

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) answers questions from reporters January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called on the Treasury and Justice departments to open a criminal investigation on Twitter for alleged violations of the US sanctions against Iran.

In a letter Friday at Attorney General William Barr and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, Cruz focused on the accounts of Ali Khamenei, the supreme head of the Islamic Republic, and Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif.

Twitter allows key Iranian leaders to have accounts on its platform, which Cruz says violates the sanctions in place to prevent the provision of services or goods to officials in the country. Twitter is blocked in Iran.

“The cohesion and legitimacy of our laws rest on their equal application to all citizens and entities, regardless of their size or power,” wrote Cruz. << The Ministry of the Treasury and the Ministry of Justice should investigate what appears to be a gross and willful violation of IEPA and OE 13876 Twitter by providing services to Khamenei, Zarif and other entities designated Iranians, and, to the extent appropriate, enforce any violation through sanctions and by seeking civil and criminal sanctions. "

Axios reported for the first time letter news.

Cruz called Twitter to revoke access for leaders in early February, although the company said it was not violating the sanctions.

Twitter declined to comment on Friday’s letter.

The call to investigate Twitter is part of an already tense week between the White House and Twitter. Twitter verified President Donald Trump’s misleading claims about postal voting on Tuesday. The company also posted a “public service announcement” on a Trump tweet, later copied by the White House, saying it was breaking its rules regarding the glorification of violence.

The White House then pushed Twitter away, saying Khamenei had an account, saying that Twitter “has determined that it will allow foreign terrorists, dictators and propagandists to abuse its platform.”

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