Nearly a dozen former Justice Department officials want the federal judge to allow an inquiry into potential White House interference in the government’s decision to try to block AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner, given President Donald Trump’s professed disdain for the deal and CNN, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The group of Justice Department veterans, including former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and President Richard Nixon’s White House counsel John Dean, filed an amicus brief late on Thursday in which they said they were “concerned that the president and the White House may have interfered in this matter.”
They requested “that the court ensure that the parties are able to examine this issue — and if necessary, the court provide redress — so that the public retains confidence that the Department is fulfilling its mission of ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against AT&T and Time Warner, filed in November, is set to go to trial on March 19.
The department’s Antitrust Division chief, Makan Delrahim, has denied that the White House influenced the decision to sue. A spokeswoman for the division declined comment.
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