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“Nice company you’ve got there; be a shame if something happened to it. Maybe you should save yourself some trouble and sell it to our buddy.” 

That’s the message 18 House Republicans, led by Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-OH), sent on Friday with a letter demanding Twitter’s board of directors preserve all records related to the bid by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to purchase the company. The right’s propagandists had celebrated Musk’s bid as a way to garner political gain by ending the company’s purported political censorship. Then its elected GOP champions, responding to hesitation from and when Twitter’s board, raised the prospect of a costly congressional investigation if his offer wasn’t accepted.

The GOP’s ham-fisted threat reflects the party’s institutionalization of former President Donald Trump’s authoritarian use of government power to impose political retribution on individual companies that defied him — particularly those that owned news outlets. Now, Republicans are adopting similar strategies in the name of fighting so-called “woke capital,” and right-wing media are cheering them on.

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