Nadler Threatens to Subpoena Whitaker After Contentious Hearing

FILE – Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker

The acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, said on Friday that he has "not interfered in any way" in the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation as he faced a contentious congressional hearing in his waning days on the job.

Though clearly exasperated - he drew gasps and chuckles when he told the committee chairman that his five-minute time limit for questions was up - Whitaker nonetheless sought to assuage Democratic concerns by insisting he had never discussed the Mueller probe with Trump or other White House officials, and that there'd been no change in its "overall management".

The Acting Attorney General, who noted that he was at the hearing voluntarily, calmly told Nadler: "Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up". And I took notes on what we learned (or re-learned) from what Whitaker said (and didn't).

Nadler indicated that he'd be requesting that Whitaker sit for a closed door deposition with the committee - which would release the transcript when practical - and asked that Whitaker commit to appearing for it. Most notably, Whitaker said under oath he had never spoken with President Trump about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, nor had he interfered in it; he said he chose not to recuse himself from overseeing that probe; and that he had never denied any funding to the investigation.

Whitaker's appointment also raised legal questions, prompted court challenges, and renewed scrutiny of his past business practices. "The rules are that you are here, so I need to ask the question, and I need to have my time restored so that you can behave appropriately".

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., asked Whitaker if he'd shared his feelings on Mueller's investigation before he joined the Justice Department.

Whitaker's conduct of dodging questions and appearing to stall frustrated Democrats.

On November 7, President Donald Trump announced the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump also announced Whitaker would be appointed as acting Attorney General the day after Democrats officially won the House of Representatives.

Ariana Grande pulls out of performing AND attending the Grammy's
Things quickly fell apart all over again when organisers are said to have asked for full control over her second song choice. The song is the second track from her new album " thank u, next " expected to be released February 8 before the awards show.

It was unclear whether Whitaker would even show up until late Thursday night after weeks of disputes between the Department of Justice and the House Judiciary committee.

Cohen blasted Whitaker for the DOJ's involvement in helping represent Trump in those matters, saying the president is "making personal monies" off the lease of a government building.

Whitaker testified following a lengthy fight with Nadler over the prospect that he would be subpoenaed for not answering questions.

One potential corroborating witness could be Don McGahn, Trump's former White House counsel who reportedly interviewed Whitaker about joining the president's legal team in 2017.

"He will come back, because we will use a subpoena if we have to", he said. Whitaker promptly responded by saying he would not attend the hearing if the subpoena was used. But he did not hold back in his opening statement, repudiated Whitaker's decision not to recuse himself from the Mueller probe, despite the recommendations of Justice Department officials.

Olivia Beavers, a reporter at The Hill, posted a photo of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) in shock over Whitaker's response.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, have maintained that they do not believe the investigation to be a witch hunt. Collins said Friday the Democrats' move was part of a "character assassination".

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