U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has called for a criminal investigation into social media site, Twitter. Cruz issued a letter seeking a probe into the site for running afoul of US sanctions laws targeting Iran.
According to Cruz,
“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).”
Cruz has called for Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate Twitter in relation to laws on the prohibition of American firms from providing sanctioned countries goods and services.
Another letter had previously been sent to President Trump and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Anderson. It stated how Twitter was in violation of IEEPA which prohibits the making of any contributions or provision of goods or services to persons designated pursuant to the order. The individuals referenced included the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic , Ali Khamenei and the Iranian Foreign Minister , Javad Zarif.
Cruz accuses the company of willfully violating the order. Violation of the order could result in $1 million in fines and imprisonment for up to 20 years for willful violations.
“I wrote to Twitter before writing to you because 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. “
Twitter is one of the only major social media sites with openly pro-crypto executives. Bitcoin often trends on the website, allowing for more people to learn about the cryptocurrency. With its increased relevance in the global political sphere, it has come under significant scrutiny from lawmakers. It remains to be seen how this will affect Bitcoin users on the platform.