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Facebook policy head makes a surprising cameo at the Kavanaugh hearing



Facebook might be doing its best to stay out of political scandals in the latter half of 2018, but the company had a presence, front and center, at one of the most contentious Senate hearings in modern history.

Facebook’s Vice President of Global Public Policy at Facebook, Joel Kaplan, was spotted sitting prominently alongside his wife, Laura Cox Kaplan, in the section for Brett Kavanaugh’s supporters. He is pictured in the far left of the header image and below, third from left, in front of the Senate Judiciary in April of this year.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg concludes his testimony before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Kaplan has not made any public commentary on Twitter or Facebook about his support for the Supreme Court nominee, though through retweets, Kaplan’s wife appears to be of the mind that the hearing is part of a “smear campaign” against the family friend.

His appearance during the hearing appears to be a show of personal support, though it still turns heads for such a prominent Facebook employee to be so visible during such a politically divisive event. TechCrunch has reached out to Facebook to see if the company was informed in advance of his attendance.

Kaplan served as a policy adviser on George W. Bush’s 2000 election campaign and went on to serve as a policy assistant to the president and as the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a deputy chief of staff. Kavanaugh worked for the Bush administration during the same period, joining the former president’s legal team and going on to work on the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

Kaplan joined Facebook in 2011 as its VP of U.S. public policy. Kaplan continues to serve in a heavily influential political role with the company today, leading its Washington D.C. office which serves as the company’s lobbying arm.

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