When AT&T boss Randall Stephensen said he had no intentions of selling CNN to win approval to take over media giant Time Warner, he meant it. Mr. Randall also said that he was never told that the price for getting Time Warner would be a sale of CNN. The communications giant’s take over of Time Warner has been stalled by the Justice Department which requested that AT&T sell off Turner Broadcasting which is home to CNN. In the event that the Justice Department does move forward with a lawsuit to block the merger, AT&T is prepared to fight. AT&T said it will seek to gain access via the courts to all communications between the White House and the Justice Department to see whether or not any meddling took place from the executive branch. Some have said that the Justice Department is correct in demanding that AT&T unload CNN and other assets but AT&T said forcing them to do so would be unprecedented. Gaining access to communication between the White House and the Justice Dept could prove to be a tough one for AT&T with all its money and legal muscle behind it.
The government may argue that communications between the White House and the Justice Department are protected either by attorney-client privilege or under executive privilege, said Spencer Weber Waller, a law professor at Loyola University Chicago and a former Justice Department lawyer.
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