Senate Democrats ask DOJ about any White House involvement in T-Mobile-Sprint merger review

Senate Democrats ask DOJ about any White House involvement in T-Mobile-Sprint merger review
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A group of Senate Democrats is pressing the Department of Justice (DOJ) for answers on whether the White House has sought to influence its review of the $26 billion T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

Three presidential candidates — Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharPolice killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Cortez Masto says she's not interested in being Biden VP Voting rights, public health officials roll out guidelines to protect voters from COVID-19 MORE (Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senators ask DeVos to adjust FAFSA form due to the coronavirus pandemic Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff MORE (N.J.) — were among the six Democrats who sent a letter Monday to Makan Delrahim, head of the DOJ's antitrust division.

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“In light of the potential implications of this transaction for American consumers, we write to reiterate that the Department’s decisions should be based on an impartial analysis of the facts and the law, and must be entirely free of improper political influence,” the group wrote.

The letter, also signed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: New documents show EPA rolled back mileage standards despite staff, WH concerns | Land management bureau grants 75 royalty rate cuts for oil and gas | EPA employees allege leadership interference with science in watchdog survey EPA's Wheeler grilled by Democrats over environmental rollbacks amid COVID-19 Markey says EPA administrator should apologize to minorities for coronavirus response MORE (Mass.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDHS watchdog to investigate COVID-19 cases in ICE detention facilities Hispanic Caucus makes major ad buy for New Mexico Democratic candidate for House Senate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections MORE (N.M.), comes after several news outlets reported that the DOJ’s antitrust staff had recommended blocking the merger out of concern for its potential effect on competition.

However, Fox Business reported last month that Delrahim was undecided and that many in the Trump administration support the merger.

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has given his blessing to the merger, and his Republican colleagues at the agency have signaled they would back his proposal to approve the deal.

The group of Senate Democrats on Monday asked Delrahim for information about any interactions he’s had with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE or anyone else at the White House regarding the merger.

The Justice Department said there have been no improprieties.

“As the Department of Justice stated in the past, all of the law enforcement decisions by the Antitrust Division are based on the facts and the law, and free from any improper political influence," Justice Department spokesman Jeremy Edwards said in an email statement to The Hill. "The T-Mobile/Sprint transaction is reviewed in this manner, just like any other transaction reviewed by the Justice Department.”

Updated at 12:59 p.m.