Acting AG Whitaker Will Testify Before House Committee After Earlier Refusing

Acting AG Whitaker Will Testify Before House Committee After Earlier Refusing

Acting AG Whitaker Will Testify Before House Committee After Earlier Refusing

"I assume you know the difference", said Jeffries, launching into a series of follow-up questions regarding Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, the indictments that were made and President Donald Trump's complaints that the investigation is a "witch hunt".

Congressman Jerry Nadler clashed with President Trump's acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, at a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday, as House Democrats sought to push Whitaker on his role in overseeing the Mueller investigation.

Nadler noted that previous Trump administration officials, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have declined to answer questions about conversations with the White House during testimony, saying that the president might want to claim executive privilege on those conversations in the future.

"We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a T", Whitaker said.

"The Acting Attorney General will testify that at no time did the White House ask for, or did the Acting Attorney General provide, any promises or commitments concerning the Special Counsel's investigation", Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd writes in the new letter obtained by CNN.

House Judiciary Committee member Val Butler questions Matthew Whitaker.

Republicans dismissed the hearing with Whitaker as a political stunt and moved to end it before it began.

"I am not kidding when I say I have interviewed terrorists who were more cooperative and respectful than Matt Whitaker was today", Figliuzzi told host Nicolle Wallace. And I took notes on what we learned (or re-learned) from what Whitaker said (and didn't).

On social media, critics expressed shock at Whitaker's conduct, with some asserting that his rebuke of Nadler-like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's angry testimony before a Senate committee in September-was likely for President Donald Trump's benefit.

Whitaker and Nadler then clashed when the witness informed the chair his five-minute time limit to ask questions had run out.

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"The subpoena will only be issued if he refuses to answer questions on a speculative basis of privilege", Nadler said.

The only other staffer present during the Mueller briefing was Gregg Scott, US attorney from the eastern district of California, Mr Whitaker said. "Stone's either indictments or arrest before it was made - that information was available to the public", Whitaker said.

"Congressman, I'm not a puppet to repeat what you're saying", Whitaker said.

That drew a response from Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee.

The Texas Democrat was trying to ask Whitaker if he had a confirmation hearing and if it has been more than ten years since he has testified before Congress. When she asked the chairman if her time had been restored, Whitaker replied with a degree of snark, "I don't know whether your time's been restored or not". The Senate is expected to vote as soon as next week on confirming William Barr, Trump's pick for attorney general.

On Thursday Whitaker had threatened not to appear at the hearing after Democrats approved a tenative subpoena, that if issued, would have compelled the acting attorney general to answer the panel's questions. "He's an outstanding person, a very very fine man", Trump said during a presidential memorandum signing in the Oval Office Thursday.

Nadler accused Whitaker of stalling but got pushback from the Republican Collins, who said Jackson Lee's demand of "yes or no" was inappropriate.

The committee chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of NY, said in a tweet on Thursday night that Whitaker "will appear tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m".

He talks to Anna Maria Tremonti about his time working on Trump's campaign, and having the president's ear.

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