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Did Trump Use ‘Instruments of State Power’ to Punish AT&T and Amazon? Democrats Intend to Find Out

Now that they’re about to control the House, Democrats are planning to investigate Trump administration activities that appeared to be aimed at hurting major media concerns—namely the attempted blockage of the AT&T-Time Warner merger and the targeting of Amazon over its postal rates.

Adam Schiff, the incoming House intelligence committee chair, told Axios Sunday that it remained an open question as to whether the attempted blockage of the AT&T-Time Warner merger was “a concern over antitrust or whether this was an effort merely to punish CNN.”

CNN, a frequent target of President Trump’s ire, was a subsidiary of Time Warner, which has been known as WarnerMedia since the takeover closed in the middle of the year.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in May that the attempt to block the merger was directed by the White House, only for the White House to then claim he got it wrong, and that it was the Justice Department’s call.

As for Trump’s squabble with Amazon, which is supposedly about Amazon taking advantage of the Post Office, Schiff said this was likely “an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post”—the Amazon CEO bought that paper, which went on to be highly critical of Trump, five years ago.

Schiff claimed Trump had secretly met with the postmaster general in order to “browbeat” him into raising Amazon’s postal rates.

According to Axios, the Dems now have at least 85 avenues of investigation that they can take regarding the president and his dealings. The subjects range from Trump’s tax returns and possible emoluments clause violations to his family separation policy and election security issues.

Trump has warned the Democrats against investigating him, saying: “If that happens, then we’re going to do the same thing, and government would come to a halt, and we’re going to blame them.”