Lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee said late Wednesday they will soon publicly release political ads from Facebook that they say were bought by Russian entities in the 2016 election.
"My personal bias is that we'll do it as quick as we can," said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas. But he also added later that he didn't expect the release to happen before Nov. 1.
"We've asked for Facebook's help to help scrub any personally identifiable information, but it's our hope that when they conclude, then we can release them publicly," added Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee.
The comments by Conaway and Schiff came after they met with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in a closed-door meeting.
Last week, the top ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee said they had no plans to release Facebook ads they had identified that might be part of Russian propaganda efforts, but also added that they had no objection to the company taking that action on their own.
Both the House and Senate intelligence committees have public hearings scheduled with Facebook, Twitter, and Google for November 1.
The social media companies have become an area of increasing concern for investigators looking into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections. A growing body of evidence, preliminary statements from the committees and investigations by U.S intelligence agencies indicate that Russians likely leveraged the outlets to spread propaganda or sow confusion as the campaign progressed.
Schiff added that Congress may eventually look at whether political advertising on social media needs disclaimers similar to over-the-air political ads that identify who created and paid for the ad.
"[I] think that people that are doing political advertising on social media should also be required to make a disclaimer like they do in normal media," Schiff said. "That's an issue that's more cross-cutting than this, but it would also help ferret out some of the foreign advertising if they are required to disclose who they are that's paying for it."