AT&T

Trump's Attorney General Pick Questioned DOJ's 'Motivation' in Opposing AT&T ...


WASHINGTON — William Barr , Donald Trump ’s choice for the next attorney general, earlier this year questioned whether the Antitrust Division’s motivation for attempting to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner was political.


In February, just as the antitrust case was being readied for trial, Barr gave a sworn declaration about a key meeting held between Time Warner executives and Justice Department officials in November 2017, just before the DOJ sued to block the deal.


In his own affidavit, Delrahim said that at the meeting, Time Warner general counsel Paul Cappuccio got up from his seat at a conference table “and said that if the Antitrust Division goes through with this, the case will be ‘a s—show like you’ve never seen,’ and that it would be like ‘Jimmy Hoffa and the firing of Jim Comey.”


He also said the discomfort he felt at the meeting was not over what Cappuccio said, but “was the result of my concern that Mr. Delrahim’s position that the alleged harms from this merger and his inexplicable ipse dixit rejection of remedies short of extreme divestitures were the product not of a well-versed substantive analysis, but rather political or other motivation.


“My consideration of this transaction took no account of the views of anyone else (including then-candidate or President Trump or anyone at the White House) as to CNN’s editorial content or exercise of First Amendment rights.


In his declaration, Barr said that given Trump’s animus toward CNN, Delrahim’s prior statements about the merger and other factors, “many would understandably question whether the [Antitrust Division] had a genuine basis for bringing this enforcement action or instead was acting to serve a political end.






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