Yeah,” he says finally, squelching his giggles by downing half a bottle of Bud, “that sounds like Ray.
Traditionally, the yakuza have supplied the ruling party with votes, financial aid, and squelching scandal services.
All the rest—the stuff about squelching innovation, and hurting consumers—is just kabuki theater.
1620s, "to fall, drop, or stomp on something (soft) with crushing force," possibly imitative of sound made. The figurative sense of "suppress completely" is first recorded 1864.