US: White House/DOJ sued over Disney-Fox deal

According to Reuters, Protect Democracy Project has sued the White House and the Justice Department for communications regarding The Walt Disney Company’s pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

According to their website, the Protect Democracy Project is a nonpartisan nonprofit with the goal to hold the President and the Executive Branch accountable to the laws and longstanding practices that have protected the United States democracy through both Democratic and Republican Administrations.

The group is concerned that the deal would be getting favorable treatment due to President Trump’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch. The White House did confirm that the President called Mr. Murdoch to congratulate him on the deal. It is no secret that the President prefers Fox News as a news source. The news network is not part of the transaction and will remain controlled by the Murdoch family.

US President Donald Trump, who has attacked AT&T’s (T.N) $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner deal, spoke to Murdoch in December and congratulated him on the deal, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. She said in December that Trump “thinks that, to use one of the president’s favorite words, that this could be a great thing for jobs.”

Last month, a federal judge denied AT&T’s request to see White House communications that might shed light on whether Trump pressured the Department of Justice to try to block the wireless carrier’s purchase of Time Warner. Trump has frequently attacked Time Warner’s CNN news channel.

Protect Democracy said in a statement the lawsuit is “part of our larger mission to counter the president’s attempt to undermine two key pillars of our democratic system, fair and independent law enforcement, and freedom of the press, most critically, freedom to dissent against the government.”

Full Content: Reuters

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