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Giuliani suggests Trump intervened to nix AT&T-Time Warner merger

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The president has made several public comments about his desire to see the merger terminated, while the Justice Department has demanded a sale of CNN-unit Turner Broadcasting or AT&T’s DirecTV as a condition of rubber stamping the deal.

Trump has railed against the merger and against Time Warner’s CNN, saying thedeal is “not good for the country.” In November, AT&T tried to raise the question of Trump interference in the deal.

“There’s been a lot of reporting and speculation whether this is all about CNN, frankly I don’t know,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “But nobody should be surprised that the question keeps coming up because we’ve been witnessing such an abrupt change in the application of antitrust law here.”

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Before taking up his role as the DOJ’s antitrust chief in 2017, Makan Delrahim told a Canadian outlet: “I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem.” But he seemingly changed his mind once on the job. The Justice Department cited antitrust concerns when it blocked the proposed $85 billion merger in November.

Federal judge Richard Leon is set to issue a decision on June 12 as to whether the merger can proceed. The case is one of the most important merger decisions this century, since it will influence the outcome of numerous other pending tie-ups across media and telecoms.

Dan Petrocelli, an AT&T lawyer who is arguing the case against the Justice Department, had wanted the judge to allow him to probe communications between the White House and the Justice Department about the merger.

The judge ruled against his request.

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Pennsylvania high court throws out challenge to mail-in ballots

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday rejected an election challenge spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, who argued that a law permitting no-excuse mail voting violated the state Constitution.

Kelly, along with several other Pennsylvania Republicans, sought to invalidate millions of mail-in votes, which could have ceded a key state won by President-Elect Joe Biden to President Donald Trump.

The ruling said, “Petitioners sought to invalidate the ballots of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who utilized the mail-in voting procedures. … Alternatively, Petitioners advocated the extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the General Election and instead ‘direct the General Assembly to choose Pennsylvania’s electors.'”

The high court ruled no on all counts and said, “All other outstanding motions are dismissed as moot.” It said the claim could have resulted in the “disenfranchisement” of millions of voters.

A spokesman for Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The state Supreme Court unanimously wiped out a lower court order that had blocked state officials from doing anything further to carry out this week’s certification of the election results.

The court criticized plaintiffs for filing the suit more than a year after universal mail-in voting was established in the state and said they lacked “due diligence.”

The suit is one of more than 26 pro-Trump election challenges dismissed by courts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and elsewhere.

The president has claimed his loss is the result of widespread fraud but so far not a single court, including some headed by Trump appointees, have agreed.



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Britain will announce no-deal Brexit NEXT WEEK unless the EU concedes warns Downing Street

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DOWNING STREET sources have warned the UK could be a week away from trade talks with the EU breaking down.

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Brexit ULTIMATUM: 'No sell out' to Brussels to get a deal, vows Boris

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BORIS Johnson has vowed that there will be “no sell out” with Brussels to get a Brexit trade deal.

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