In 'news we thought we'd read one day but perhaps not today', lawyer George Conway has said that Donald Trump's alleged meddling with CNN could be an impeachable offence. Yes, really.
According to a new report in the New Yorker, in 2017 the president of the United States directed the then chief-economic advisor Gary Cohn and then chief-of-staff John Kelly to 'pressure' the Justice department to block a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, which owned CNN.
His aim? To boost his Fox News buddies, it has been reported.
In a meeting with Cohn at the time, Trump reportedly told Kelly:
I’ve been telling Cohn to get this lawsuit filed and nothing’s happened!
I’ve mentioned it 50 times. And nothing’s happened... I want that deal blocked.
This alleged interference in the Time Warner AT&T merger could constitute an abuse of power, reports Vanity Fair. The New Yorker's reporting appears to confirm suspicions that emerged within CNN and AT&T at the time.
At the end of November, the Department of Justice reportedly moved to block the $85bn merger, which was seen as an essential step forwards if the companies were to compete with Netfix and other streaming platforms.
The block was ultimately unsuccessful, with the final say coming in late February, when a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined the request from the DOJ to appeal the original ruling, reports Bustle.
Taking to Twitter, George Conway, avowed Trump critic, and husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, wrote:
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
This isn't George Conway's first wry or critical tweet about the president, and his outspoken opinions have caused Kellyanne Conway some embarrassment.
Speaking to the Washington Post in 2018, she said:
I think it’s disrespectful.
It disrespects his wife.
However George Conway defended his tweeting. Speaking to The Post he described his tweets as an 'outlet'.
It’s a quick easy way to express myself, that keeps me from making it a bigger part of my life.
HT Vanity Fair