‘There’s been a persistent attack on the rule of law, on a free press, important democratic institutions…’
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., floated the possibility of investigating after The New Yorker reported that President Donald Trump wanted former aide Gary Cohn to push the Justice Department to sue and block the acquisition.
“If we are compelled to, we’ll issue subpoenas,” Cicilline said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “We’ll certainly bring witnesses.”
Cohn resisted the request, according to The New Yorker.
The Justice Department eventually sued to block the acquisition and has denied that political interference drove the decision.
AT&T prevailed in February.
Cicilline’s panel is a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee.
He said he wants to make sure “that we are not permitting any political interference by the president or members of his administration to punish people he perceives as enemies and to reward friends.”
He and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who chairs the Judiciary Committee, issued document requests in the case last week.
“There’s been a persistent attack on the rule of law, on a free press, important democratic institutions,” Cicilline said. “We’re going to look at all these issues.”
Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, has denied that the White House played any role in his decision to sue to block the acquisition.
©2019 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
(Liberty Headlines Associate Editor contributed to this report.)