AT&T wants Trump antitrust chief to testify in merger trial: report

AT&T wants Trump antitrust chief to testify in merger trial: report
© Getty Images

AT&T wants to call the Justice Department's top antitrust official as a witness in the trial over its proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner, according to The New York Times.

AT&T is asking for Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim to testify and is also seeking phone, email and other communications between Delrahim and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: DOJ concerned about suppression of free speech on college campuses Faith communities are mobilizing against Trump’s family separation policy Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal MORE.

AT&T declined to confirm the details report to The Hill.

“This is a matter to be discussed in court, not the press, and as we have consistently told all reporters yesterday and today, we will reserve comment on it for the courtroom,” said Dan Petrocelli, lead trial counsel for Time Warner and AT&T.

In November, the Justice Department sued to block the proposed merger, claiming it would lessen competition and harm consumers.


But the proposed merger has also been a political lightening rod because of comments from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE.

On the campaign trail, Trump said he would block the deal if elected because it would concentrate too much power.

Trump has also repeatedly attacked CNN, which is owned by Time Warner, over its coverage of his administration.

That's led critics to question if the decision to block the merger was politically motivated.

Delrahim and Sessions have both insisted the antitrust review of the AT&T-Time Warner merger was not influenced by the White House.

This story was updated at 10:55 a.m. on Feb. 15.