September 22, 2017 / 10:19 PM / 2 years ago

Democratic senator lifts hold on Trump antitrust nominee -aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has lifted her hold on President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, a move that will allow the Senate to vote to confirm Makan Delrahim, a senior Republican aide said on Friday.

Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, had met with Delrahim early in September where she pressed him about her concerns about lobbying and political interference in antitrust.

Delrahim, a veteran of the Justice Department and a lobbyist, has been nominated to be assistant attorney general. It was not immediately clear when the vote would go forward.

The president took an usually long time nominating Delrahim, finally naming him in late March. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved him in June, and sent his nomination to the full Senate.

In the interim, the Justice Department Antitrust Division is being run by Andrew Finch, who will become a deputy to Delrahim once he is in place.

Warren’s office and Delrahim did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the hold being lifted.

Senator Orrin Hatch, a member of the Judiciary Committee and a Utah Republican, has worked with Warren and others to address concerns about Delrahim’s nomination, Hatch’s office said in a statement.

Warren had been concerned about Trump attempting to exert political influence on antitrust decisions. As a candidate, Trump had said he would oppose AT&T Inc’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc, owner of CNN and one of the country’s largest film and television companies.

Delrahim said in his confirmation hearing in May that on his watch, the division’s merger reviews would be free from any political influence.

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