Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

Collins was particularly annoyed by the "charade" on Thursday, when Democrats threatened to subpoena Whitaker - even though he agreed to testify voluntarily.

Nadler called the hearing to provide oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice, which Whitaker has overseen since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sacked in November.

When it was Republican Rep. Doug Collins's (R-GA) turn to speak, he excoriated Democrats for waging nothing more than a "character assassination" against Whitaker with the goal of embarrassing President Trump.

But early on, Whitaker struck a note of defiance as Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) asked him about his interactions with President Donald Trump and others in the White House. Whitaker added that he will urge Mueller to "summarize his findings" in a simple report issued to Congress, which could eventually be made public.

Ethics officials at the justice department had called upon Mr Whitaker to recuse himself from the inquiry, as his predecessor Jeff Sessions had done, but he refused.

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

Whitaker's time as acting attorney general will likely be coming to an end soon.

The acting attorney general said that Mueller was would finish the probe "when he wants to finish his investigation".

"Still, House Democrats warned him not to interfere with the investigation in the several days he had left before the Senate confirms Barr as attorney general". Whitaker responded by saying that he wouldn't come unless the committee dropped its subpoena threat, which he derided as an act of "political theater".

When the congresswoman turned back to Whitaker, he hesitated and said, "I'm sorry, what was your- I don't know if your time's been restored or not", prompting some laughter from the room.

"If you play nice, President Trump has shown plenty of willingness to publicly go after his own people", Axios continued.

On Friday, an hour before Whitaker was due to appear, Nadler, along with Reps.

The Justice Department has been led on a temporary basis by Whitaker since Sessions was ousted by Trump in November immediately after last year's midterm elections.

Whitaker toggled between defending his role in the special counsel's investigation and echoing the president's talking points, conceding for instance that while foreign interference in USA elections was a problem, so too was voter fraud - a key issue for Republicans, but one that Democrats say is overstated. The question that this Committee must now ask is: "Why?" That referred to the time limits for questions - one normally addressed by lawmakers, not witnesses.

(Nota bene: Whitaker was under oath.) My observations are in the chronological order that Whitaker said them. The president has also said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation. Jackson Lee had asked Whitaker whether he ever appeared before an oversight hearing or was confirmed in the Senate, and Nadler demanded he "answer the question as asked".

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