Senators Call for Impartial Investigation into Potential Quid Pro Quo between Chairman Ajit Pai, Trump Administration, and Sinclair Broadcasting

Sens Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Udall (D-NM), and 13 of their Senate colleagues are requesting the inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) open an investigation into the objectivity and impartiality of the FCC’s review of the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media.

“We have strong concerns that the FCC’s ongoing review of the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media may be tainted by a series of actions and events that raise questions about the independence and impartiality of the FCC,” wrote the senators to FCC Inspector General David Hunt. In addition to Sens Cantwell and Udall, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also signed the letter. In their letter to the inspector general, the senators point out 16 actions and events that suggest a disturbing pattern of a three way quid pro quo involving Sinclair, the Trump Administration, and Chairman Ajit Pai. Many of the actions taken by Chairman Pai have overturned decades-long, settled legal precedent.

The Sens are also asking that Chairman Pai recuse himself from all FCC business related to the Sinclair-Tribune merger until the investigation has determined whether or not there were any improper actions that would call into question the independence of the agency.


Senators Call for Impartial Investigation into Potential Quid Pro Quo between Chairman Ajit Pai, Trump Administration, and Sincl Letter Asking Pai to Recuse Himself in Sinclair Proceeding Senate Dems want FCC chair to recuse himself from Sinclair matters (The Hill)