President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to stop the AT&T-Time Warner merger “would unquestionably be grounds for impeachment,” if true, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George Conway, tweeted on Monday.
Conway made the comment in response to a story in The New Yorker claiming that in summer of 2017, Trump ordered former white House economic adviser Gary Cohn to put pressure of the Justice Department to prevent the merger. Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal, which Time Warner viewed as “essential to its survival,” an unusual move for a sitting president, according to the New Yorker.
The magazine notes that “many people suspected that his objection was a matter of petty retaliation against CNN.”
“If proven, such an attempt to use presidential authority to seek retribution for the exercise of First Amendment rights would unquestionably be grounds for impeachment,” tweeted Conway, partner and Of Counsel in the Litigation Department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York City.
Trump reportedly called Cohn into the Oval Office during a meeting with former chief of staff John Kelly. He then said to Kelly, “I’ve been telling Cohn to get this lawsuit filed and nothing’s happened! I’ve mentioned it fifty times. And nothing’s happened. I want to make sure it’s filed. I want that deal blocked!”
According to the New Yorker’s source, Cohn refused to contact the Justice Department.
The White House, Cohn, Kelly, and the Justice Department either did not respond or declined requests for comment.
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