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Van Hollen calls from investigation into AT&T, Time Warner Merger

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting an investigation into the White House’s involvement in the Department’s review of the AT&T, Time Warner merger. Senator Van Hollen’s letter follows reports that President Trump ordered White House Economic Council Gary Cohn to interfere with the DOJ’s review of the proposed merger.

 

In his letter, Senator Van Hollen writes, “I request that you open an investigation into whether White House aides and officials have improperly tried to influence DOJ regulators in order to meet the objectives of President Trump. The President of the United States should not use his office to direct the DOJ to punish those who he perceives to be his adversaries or to reward his friends. This investigation and subsequent report should be made public to the American people to reassure them of the executive branch’s integrity and your agency’s independence.”

 

He continues, asking that DOJ provide answers to the following questions:

 

1.         Did President Trump or any White House officials make formal or informal inquiries encouraging the Department of Justice to oppose the AT&T and Time Warner merger?

2.         Did President Trump or White House officials make formal or informal inquiries encouraging the Department of Justice to approve or expedite the Disney/FOX merger?

3.         Have President Trump or White House officials made formal or informal inquiries regarding other mergers?

4.         If yes to any of the above, please describe the contents of these conversations.

The Senator closed the letter stating, “While Republicans deprived Americans the opportunity to learn more about this merger, it is alarming to learn that President Trump has also personally advocated for outcomes that financially benefit the media outlet that he clearly believes is most favorable to him. The regulators at DOJ need to focus on how these mergers benefit the consumer, not how they potentially benefit the President’s perceived allies or adversaries.”

A copy of the letter is available here

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