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Cicilline says impeachment inquiry won’t slow big tech probe

US Representative David Cicilline <b/>said Tuesday he still expects to release recommendations from his committee’s investigation into the world’s largest technology companies by early 2020.Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I like A Boogie wit da Hoodie no matter what Providence College says. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

US Representative David Cicilline said Tuesday he still expects to release recommendations from his committee’s investigation into the world’s largest technology companies by early 2020, despite an impeachment inquiry into President Trump that will gobble up lawmakers’ time in the coming months.


Cicilline leads the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, commercial, and administrative law, which is looking into the market power amassed by technology businesses while trying to determine whether the nation’s antitrust laws need to be updated.

He said the committee expects to receive its first tranche of documents next week from more than 80 companies, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, but also from many of their smaller rivals.

Cicilline said hearings will continue throughout the fall, although he acknowledged the impeachment inquiry into Trump will probably dominate news cycles for the foreseeable future.

“The one thing we’ve done really effectively is we’ve demonstrated to the American people that we can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Cicilline said of House Democrats.

Cicilline suggested that it’s premature to say what his committee will recommend, but he said he’s not sure Congress has the authority to follow through on presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s plan to break up the technology companies.

In leaked recordings from an internal meeting released last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the company may have to sue the federal government if Warren’s idea gains traction.


Cicilline said it’s more likely the committee will recommend modernizing and updating antitrust statutes while exposing the effect that large acquisitions — such as Facebook buying Instagram — has had on competition.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

■  My latest: There’s mixed news about the first cohort of free tuition recipients at the Community College of Rhode Island. The good news is the graduation rate was 19 percent. The bad news is low-income students continue to lag behind their more affluent peers.

■  Former US attorney Robert Corrente told me he has been retained by veteran political operative Jeff Britt following WPRI’s report that a grand jury has been convened regarding a campaign finance investigation that involves House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. A spokesperson for Mattiello said the speaker was unaware of the grand jury.

■  This story about how Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin has kept a low profile while her department faces numerous scandals sounds a lot like the brief tenure of former Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann C. Assumpico.

■  My colleague Laura Krantz looks at how US Senator Mitt Romney could lead the effort to rally Republican opposition to President Trump.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.


■  Speaking of CCRI, the Council on Postsecondary Education will discuss the college’s budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year tonight.

■  Big news from 225 Dyer St.: Bolt Coffee is now set up in the first floor of our building.

■  Governor Gina Raimondo and Boston Fed President & CEO Eric Rosengren will be at the Central Library in Cranston at 1 p.m. to discuss the Working Cities Challenge economic development competition.

■  If you’re looking for a census job next year, there’s an information session at the Olneyville Library at 6:30 p.m. in Providence.

■  Enjoying Rhode Map so far? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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