Democrat Lawmakers Ask if Trump Played Part in Antitrust Investigation Against VW, Others Over California Emissions

A new report says a pair of Democratic lawmakers are asking questions to find out if President Trump interfered with or directed an antitrust probe of four automakers who made a voluntary agreement with California over reduced tailpipe emissions.

The report from Reuters says that Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and Representative David Cicilline, head of the antitrust subcommittee, asked White House counsel Patrick Cipollone and Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, to turn over any documents or communications between Trump, White House staff or Justice Department officials regarding the probe into Volkswagen Group, Ford, Honda, and BMW.

“Actual interference would of course constitute a serious abuse of power,” the two lawmakers put in a letter seen by Reuters. They said the probe appears to be “another example of the administration’s weaponization of the antitrust laws to target perceived political adversaries of the president.”

Delrahim confirmed he sent letters to the four automakers asking questions for testimony in front of a Senate panel. The report says that four Senate Democrats wrote to US Attorney General William Barr for documents about trumps involvement in the probe and three others had written letters saying they opposed the probe.