Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Whitaker to Nadler: 'Your 5 minutes are up'

Whitaker Confirmed to Appear Before Panel as Scheduled WATCH LIVE: Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET
Andrew Cummings | 11 February, 2019, 02:14

The panel had given Whitaker plenty of opportunities to prepare for the questioning, Nadler argued, but it was "clear" he hadn't.

"I know you're very interested in the special counsel investigation", Whitaker noted sarcastically.

"In your capacity as Acting Attorney General, have you ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the Special Counsel?" asked House Judiciary Chair Nadler.

That's according to Whitaker's prepared remarks released as he arrived on Capitol Hill to testify before the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee on Friday. Also expected to come up was Whitaker's comment last week that he believed the investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign was almost done.

Democrats pushed Whitaker on whether he was still critical of the special counsel investigation he is now in charge of.

"No, I did not", Whitaker said.

Jayapal was speaking to Joy Reid on MSNBC about a contentious interaction she had with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker over family separations at the border.

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They are calling him to testify even though his time leading the Justice Department is ending, with the Senate expected this month to confirm Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr. He told lawmakers that it would be "inappropriate" to discuss an ongoing investigation.

"Consistent with longstanding practice, I remain willing to appear to testify tomorrow, provided that the chairman assures me that the committee will not issue a subpoena today or tomorrow and that the committee will engage in good faith negotiations before taking such a step down the road", Whitaker wrote to Nadler.

An aide to a senior House Republican said of Whitaker's jab during a hearing recess: 'I've never seen that one before. The letter declared Whitaker wouldn't appear before the panel, unless members withdrew a subpoena, compelling his testimony. When they did ask questions about the investigation, Republicans asked whether it had strayed from the pursuit of possible crimes to targeting individuals, and whether key Justice Department officials were biased in the investigation. But when Jordan asked him whether specific names were in the document - which Jordan charged would go against Justice Department policy - Whitaker demurred. Nadler confirmed that the congressman "controls the time". Here's one: Trump's acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings.

(Nota bene: Whitaker was under oath.) My observations are in the chronological order that Whitaker said them.

Democrats again attempted to make a mockery of a Trump appointee today but found themselves a worthy opponent in acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

In his opening statements, committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he wanted to ask whether Whitaker helped orchestrate former Attorney General Jeff Session's departure.

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