US: Dems want to know if White House interfered in AT&T/TW merger

On Thursday two US House Democrats asked the White House and Justice Department to turn over documents that could show whether Republican President Donald Trump sought to intervene in the regulatory review of AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

In letters released on Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Representative David Cicilline, who chairs a panel overseeing antitrust issues, asked them to turn over records after The New Yorker magazine reported this week that Trump directed then-National Economic Council director Gary Cohn to use the Justice Department to block the deal.

The pair wrote that if accurate, Trump’s involvement would “constitute a grave abuse of power.” Last week, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a Justice Department challenge to the deal filed in November 2017.

The letters cited the New Yorker article reporting that Trump called Cohn into the Oval Office “along with John Kellywho had just become the chief of staff, and said in exasperation to Kelly, ‘I’ve been telling Cohn to get this lawsuit filed and nothing’s happened! I’ve mentioned it 50 times. And nothing’s happened. I want to make sure it’s filed. I want that deal blocked!’

Full Content: Reuters

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