Nadler Says He Needs More Answers From Whitaker And May Issue Subpoena

Nadler Says He Needs More Answers From Whitaker And May Issue Subpoena

Nadler Says He Needs More Answers From Whitaker And May Issue Subpoena

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker fired back when Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell tried to corner him during Friday's House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Nadler sent a letter to Whitaker last month with the questions he meant to ask, requesting Whitaker to say then and there if he meant to invoke executive privilege. "The chairman--he could take all day to ask the question if he wanted to".

His frustration was evident as he repeatedly insisted that he would not discuss his conversations with the president, deflected questions he did not wish to answer and implored lawmakers to focus on the more conventional work of the Justice Department, not just the Mueller investigation.

"I want to be very specific about this, Mr. Chairman, because I think it's going to allay a lot of fears that have existed among this committee, among the legislative branch largely and maybe amongst some American people", Whitaker added. The testimony ended with Nadler warning that the answers Whitaker gave were insufficient.

"The Acting Attorney General will testify that at no time did the White House ask for, or did the Acting Attorney General provide, any promises or commitments concerning the Special Counsel's investigation", Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd writes in the new letter obtained by CNN. "House Democrats and the public deserve to know if Trump is corruptly trying to quash or undermine the investigation of him, his company, and his friends".

"This is a breach of the agreement", and a "striking departure from long-standing processes". The Senate is slated to vote next week on William Barr, who President Trump nominated to permanently replace Whitaker's predecessor Jeff Sessions. He's an outstanding person.

"If he feels that a yes or a no is appropriate, he'll answer in a yes or a no; if he does not feel it's appropriate, he should be able to answer in the appropriate way, as many other Democrats have done before this committee before", Collins said.

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. "Political theater is not the goal of an oversight hearing, and I will not allow that to be the case", Whitaker wrote.

Whitaker's highly anticipated testimony Friday had been in limbo after the Democratic-led committee approved a tentative subpoena to ensure that he appeared and answered questions.

The retort came after Nadler had chastised Whitaker for evading questions and said that he wanted Whitaker to appear before the committee "in the coming weeks" for a private deposition.

(1) Executive privilege is no end-all-to-be-all. 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". "The first signal was when he was trying to tell the chairman he only had five minutes to ask a question". "There has been no breakdown here".

Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, called the whole hearing a dog and pony show, and said they should have popcorn for everyone.

"In a quest to score political points against the president, they authorized a pre-emptive subpoena, treating a voluntary witness as hostile", Collins said.

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