Whitaker Stuns Committee by Telling Judiciary Chairman ‘Your Five Minutes Is Up’

Whitaker Stuns Committee by Telling Judiciary Chairman ‘Your Five Minutes Is Up’

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.

Whitaker was willing to travel up to Capitol Hill and talk to lawmakers voluntarily, the Justice Department said - but not under subpoena, and he demanded a guarantee on Thursday that Nadler not slap him with a subpoena at the hearing in the event he didn't answer a question.

Trump also announced Whitaker would be appointed as acting Attorney General the day after Democrats officially won the House of Representatives.

"We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a T, " Whitaker told the House Judiciary Committee.

A Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian intelligence has entered its second year, but Republican chairman Richard Burr said there is thus far nothing suggesting collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Several Republicans on the committee pushed for former Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, to subpoena Rosenstein in the last Congress, though he ultimately did not appear.

Democrats repeatedly accused Whitaker of running out the clock by giving them evasive or rambling answers in the hearing. "Can you say right now, Mr. President, Bob Mueller is honest and not conflicted?" "Without the threat of a subpoena, I believe it may be hard to hold Mr. Whitaker to this standard".

Boyd laid out an argument for asserting such executive privilege in the letter, saying that administration officials from both parties have declined to answer questions about conversations they have had with the president.

Democrats have expressed concerns about Whitaker's previous partisan statements about the Mueller probe, his resumé and not being in the line of succession to succeed Jeff Sessions. Whitaker balked at the subpoena threat until Nadler took a more conciliatory stance.

"I am aware of that, and it was deeply concerning to me as to how CNN found out about that", Whitaker said.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel, called the subpoena authorization "political theater" before the vote. A full Senate is expected to confirm Barr as President Donald Trump's chief law enforcement officer next week.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., opened the hearing by criticizing Whitaker for going against the advice of Justice Department ethics officials and not recusing himself from supervising special counsel Robert Muller's investigation.

"The attorney general was in the middle of saying something", said Nadler. 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". "Have you communicated any information in that briefing to President Trump?" Nadler, who'd taken steps to a subpoena as a last-resort measure, said there would be no need for one if he showed up "prepared to respond to questions from our members". Answer the question, please, ' he pressed.

Whitaker's appearance became questionable Thursday after the panel, led by Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, approved a tentative subpoena to ensure that Whitaker would appear and answer questions. He's also called it "presidential harassment".

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