Through Whitaker, Trump officially declares war on House oversight

Matthew Whitaker

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Friday blasted acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker for ignoring the advice of the Justice Department's ethics attorneys and not recusing himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. "We have agreed to five-minute rounds".

"We all should show real passion and a real commitment to fixing what was done to these families and these children", she added. Thursday, the Senate judiciary committee voted along party lines, 12-10, to advance Barr's nomination.

The committee's ranking member, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said numerous times that Democrats were asking questions outside the hearing's scope, but Nadler overruled him.

Republicans appear emboldened by Whitaker's backbone much like they are by President Trump's brazen politics, leading many to call for the acting AG to be made permanent.

Democrats also inquired about Whitaker's past business dealings.

Democrats are anxious that Whitaker, whose public comments before taking over the Justice Department suggested he was sympathetic to Trump and critical of the Mueller probe, may seek to evade questions he is asked during the proceedings.

Republican Doug Collins assailed the goal for the hearing and unsuccessfully called for it to be adjourned.

Why is Mr Whitaker controversial?

He said his comment at an unrelated news conference last week that the Mueller investigation was close to wrapping up - a remark that generated significant attention and speculation - reflected only "my position as acting attorney general".

Nadler Threatens to Subpoena Whitaker After Contentious Hearing
The Acting Attorney General, who noted that he was at the hearing voluntarily, calmly told Nadler: "Mr. Whitaker promptly responded by saying he would not attend the hearing if the subpoena was used.

When Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee today, some of the most aggressive questioning came from Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

But the antagonism between House Democrats and Whitaker was on full display throughout the hearing on Friday.

"I think he's an outstanding person".

"Rather than conducting appropriate oversight into the department's programs and activities, the committee evidently seeks to ask questions about confidential presidential communications that no attorney general could ever be expected to disclose under the circumstances", Boyd wrote.

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.

The wide-ranging Mueller probe has focused on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the 2016 US presidential elections and whether the president obstructed justice, among other things. I ask the department to work with the committee to provide them.

It is true that Barr, during his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, declined to make specific promises about how he would carry out his role overseeing the Mueller investigation.

Asked about Whitaker's congressional appearance, Trump called Whitaker an "outstanding person" and said he would do very well should he testify.

After a long pause, Nadler continued, "It's a "yes or no" question".

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