The incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee this week said that when the new Congress is seated in January, Democrats plan to scrutinize whether President Trump abused his authority by taking adverse action against retail giant Amazon and two of his bitter left-leaning media rivals: CNN and The Washington Post.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he and his colleagues will employ committee subpoena powers — which are backed by the legal threat of contempt of Congress — to conduct the triple-threaded inquiry into Trump’s possible use of the “instruments of state power to punish the press.”
Specifically, Schiff charged that Trump “was secretly meeting with the postmaster [general] in an effort to browbeat” her into “raising postal rates on Amazon,” whose founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, separately owns The Washington Post.
“This appears to be an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post,” Schiff said in the interview.
The president signed an executive order earlier this year mandating a review of what he called the “unsustainable financial path” of the United States Postal Service (USPS). And he has reportedly met with Postmaster General Megan Brennan several times to push for hikes to the shipping rates paid by companies like Amazon, although there are no indications he did so to seek political payback.