Senate panel votes to hold website in contempt over sex ads

WASHINGTON – A Senate panel has voted to hold the classified advertising website in civil contempt for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena into how it screens ads for possible sex trafficking.

The Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday backed a resolution setting up a legal fight with the company. The full Senate must vote on the resolution.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri sponsored the resolution after they said the company refused to comply with a subpoena last year. It would allow the committee to go to court to try and force to turn over documents about its screening practices.

Senate approval would mark the first time in two decades the chamber has voted to hold someone in contempt.