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Democrats to probe Trump actions on AT & T, Amazon: Axios




WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Democrats take control of US homes, they plan to investigate the Trump Administration's attempt to block AT & T Inc ( TN ) from acquiring Time Warner, and if officials sought to punish Amazon. com Inc. ( AMZN.O ) by communicating the US Post Office to increase freight rates to the world's largest e-commerce company, a senior democrat said on Sunday.

An AT & T logo is depicted in Pasadena, California, USA, January 24, 2018. REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni

Speaks to Online Publication Axios, Representative Adam Schiff, who is expected to be incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee , said the Democrats would consider whether Trump used the federal authorities of the authorities to punish the companies.

Representative Elijah Cummings, the probable incoming chairman of the House Oversight and the Government Reform Committee, said the committee "may wish to see" if the White House reigned against Amazon and AT & T.

Cummings also said on ABC's "This Week "which he intends to investigate if Trump killed plans to move the FBI's new headquarters because it could hurt his business interests in Trump Hotel across the street.

Since the fight against the control of the House of Representatives in mid-term elections last week, the Democrats have promised to launch investigations on a number of topics involving the Trump Administration.

Amazon's Managing Director Jeff Bezos owns Washington Post, while Time Warner's holdings include CNN. Trump has lambasted both outlets often for their critical coverage.

"It is very right within our responsibility to find out," Schiff told Axios in an interview that will fly Sunday at HBO.

Schiff Sa Trump "was secretly meeting the postmaster (General) in an attempt to point the postmaster on raising postrater on Amazon … This seems to be an effort of the president to use state-owned instruments to punish Jeff Bezos and Washington Post, said Schiff.

It is unclear which committees can investigate business issues since the Schiffs Intelligence Committee would not oversee. A Schiff spokesman refused further comment.

AT & T and Amazon.com Both of them refused to comment on Sunday. The White House did not comment immediately.

Trump has repeatedly confirmed Amazon does not pay US Postal Service a fair rate for package delivery. Trump has said without proving that this will cost US taxpayers billions of dollars, and he has threatened to raise the company's post rates.

Trump opposing the AT & T-Time Warner merger as a candidate and has repeatedly attacked CNN and last week became e A CNN reporter's White House press card suspended.

The Justice Department appeals to a federal judge's approval of $ 85.4 billion AT & T acquisition of Time Warner.

With a split decision last week's congressional elections, Democrats are planning a careful approach. The Democratic leader of the house, Nancy Pelosi, told the CBS "Face the Nation" that the democrats will not conduct "any investigation for a political purpose, but to seek the truth."

Cummings promised a "methodical" approach when it came to investigations. "I'm not going to hand out subpoenas as someone shares candy on Halloween," said Cummings.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing Andrea Ricci and Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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