The latest in Donald Trump’s long sequence of impeachable offenses just came to light this morning.
Trump ordered former economic adviser Gary Cohn to put pressure on the DOJ to block a proposed merger between AT&T and the parent company of CNN, Time Warner. It was a massive business deal that would have benefit both Time Warner and CNN. Cohn resigned one year ago, deciding he couldn’t take it anymore.
According to Mayer, Trump dragged Cohn into the Oval Office in the summer of 2017 and verbally abused him for not doing enough to block the proposed huge business deal. Mayer wrote:
“According to a well-informed source, Trump called Cohn into the Oval Office along with John Kelly, who had just become the chief of staff, and said in exasperation 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!”
“Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs, evidently understood that it would be highly improper for a President to use the Justice Department to undermine two of the most powerful companies in the country as punishment for unfavorable news coverage, and as a reward for a competing news organization that boosted him. According to the source, as Cohn walked out of the meeting he told Kelly, “Don’t you fucking dare call the Justice Department. We are not going to do business that way.”
According to Mayer, while Cohn and Kelly did not comment on the anecdote she wrote about, a former White House official confirmed that the president frequently “vented” in “frustration” about the deal. The official said that Trump ranted regularly about DOJ inaction over the AT&T-Time Warner merger.
“The President does not understand the nuances of antitrust law or policy,” the official explained. “But he wanted to bring down the hammer.”
George Conway, the husband of Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, wrote on Twitter that Trump should be impeached if it’s found that Mayer’s reporting is correct.
“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,” Conway tweeted in response to Mayer’s report.
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. https://t.co/F1UANzeD2q
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 4, 2019
This is true, but Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy said it was fine with him if Trump blocked the merger of AT&T-Time Warner because he didn’t like the way he’s covered by CNN. Kennedy said that Trump, like anyone else, has the right to an opinion.
Republicans in Congress, as always, are covering up for Donald Trump and enabling him in the commission of crimes and impeachable offenses.