WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said this Thursday after the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to hold Backpage.com in contempt:
“The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is conducting an important investigation into the very serious issue of human trafficking on the Internet. I fully support the right of Chairman Portman and Ranking Member McCaskill to obtain documents from Backpage.com as part of this investigation. I do not take lightly the use of the Senate’s contempt authority, but the subcommittee must have all the information it deems necessary to pursue its inquiry,” said Sen. Johnson. “I will continue to support Chairman Portman and Ranking Member McCaskill in their fact-finding so that Congress can attempt to identify and address the problem of online sex trafficking.”
Senators Portman and McCaskill subpoenaed Backpage.com. Because of Backpage.com’s refusal to comply with the subpoena, Sen. Johnson, as chairman of the committee, filed a resolution to hold the company’s CEO in contempt. This resolution passed the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee 15-0 on Feb. 10, 2016.