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

AT&T wants Trump antitrust chief to testify in merger trial: report
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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 SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report 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.

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But the proposed merger has also been a political lightening rod because of comments from President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial 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.