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Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Facebook hired the former top aide to a lawmaker investigating how Russians may have used its platform to subvert the 2016 election to lobby on its behalf last month, according to a disclosure posted last Friday.

Why it matters: Facebook is bolstering its forces in Washington amid unprecedented investigations into the power of its platform and a new bill that would create new disclosure requirements for online political ads.

The details:

  • Facebook hired Luke Albee to lobby on, among other issues, "election integrity," per the form. Albee served as chief of staff to Sen. Mark Warner, now the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee and an outspoken critic of Facebook's role in the 2016 election, from 2008 until 2015. The form says he was brought on just days before Warner grilled Facebook's top lawyer at his panel's hearing on the Russia issue. Warner is also a primary sponsor of the online ad disclosure bill.
  • It has also hired David Wade, a former top staffer for John Kerry, to work on a "congressional investigation," according to another disclosure posted on Friday. Axios first reported the company was working with Wade's firm in early October. Facebook declined to comment on both registrations.

Go deeper: Twitter also recently hired a lobbying firm to work on issues "related [to Russia's] use of social media platforms regarding the 2016 election."

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
57 mins ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.

2 hours ago - Technology

Big Tech bolts politics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech fed politics. Then it bled politics. Now it wants to be dead to politics. 

Why it matters: The social platforms that profited massively on politics and free speech suddenly want a way out — or at least a way to hide until the heat cools. 

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

GameStop as a metaphor

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A half-forgotten and unprofitable videogame retailer is, bizarrely and incredibly, on the lips of the nation. That's because the GameStop story touches on economic and cultural forces that affect everyone, whether they own a single share of stock or not.

Why it matters: In most Wall Street fights, the broader public doesn't have a rooting interest. This one — where a group of small traders won a multi-billion-dollar bet against giant hedge funds by buying stock in GameStop — is different.