Democrats reportedly plan probe of Trump actions on AT&T, Amazon

Rep. Adam Schiff tells Axiom it'll investigating whether the president used his powers to punish the press.

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Rep. Adam Schiff, who's poised to be the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says the Democrats plan to investigate whether the president used his powers to punish the press.

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House Democrats plan to investigate the Trump administration's attempt to block AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner and whether the White House sought to punish Amazon by pressing the US Postal Service to increase shipping rates for the internet retailer, a senior Democratic congressman said Sunday.

Rep. Adam Schiff, poised to be the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told Axios the Democrats will investigate whether President Donald Trump used "the instruments of state power to punish the press."

"It is very squarely within our responsibility to find out," he said in the interview, which will air Sunday evening on HBO.

Since gaining control of the House of Representatives in last week's midterm elections, Democrats have vowed to launch or continue probes into the president's businesses and potential conflicts of interest.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, while AT&T owns CNN. Both news outlets have featured coverage critical of the president. Trump has reportedly weighed "going after" Amazon over alleged antitrust activities or violations of competition laws, while the Justice Department has sued to block AT&T's $85 billion merger with Time Warner.

Schiff said Trump "was secretly meeting with the postmaster (general) in an effort to browbeat the postmaster into raising postal rates on Amazon... This appears to be an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post," Schiff said.

Neither the White House, Amazon nor AT&T immediately responded to requests for comment.

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