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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

2 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

2 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.