Acting U.S. attorney general snaps at Democrats over Russian Federation probe

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11 February, 2019

Nadler went on to repeat his question, and Whitaker ultimately responded: "I have not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation".

Mr Whitaker, who oversees the special counsel's inquiry into alleged Trump campaign ties with Russian Federation, was grilled by lawmakers in a hearing on Friday. The "hearing" was clearly a dog-and-pony show that was meant to cast doubt on the credibility of Matt Whitaker, the DOJ and President Trump before Trump's new attorney general (Michael Barr) would soon take office.

The hearing came a day after the chairman, Democratic Rep.

"Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes are up, " Whitaker said to the committee's Democratic leader, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY. Whitaker refused to testify under threat of subpoena, but eventually backed down and agreed to appear before the panel Friday morning. "I have and will continue to manage this investigation in a manner that is consistent with the governing regulations", Whitaker said in his prepared remarks. He added that he has not denied any funds to the special counsel's investigation.

Since taking control of the House in January, Democrats have pushed to question Mr. Whitaker about his views on the special counsel.

He told lawmakers that there has been no change since his arrival in the job in the "overall management" of special counsel's Robert Mueller investigation.

Lofgren noted that he had commented on the Roger Stone indictment earlier in the hearing, and said the no comment standard was not being applied "evenly".

After Whitaker's statement, Collins said Nadler had overplayed his hand.

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Nadler had noted that previous Trump administration officials, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, declined to answer questions about conversations with the White House during testimony, saying that the president might want to claim executive privilege on those conversations in the future. His answers were combative and intentionally disruptive.

"And we intend to bring him back in a deposition before the committee so we can get those answers".

Demings, who referred to her time as Orlando police chief, told Whitaker, "I took an oath just like you did and I took that oath very, very seriously, to uphold the Constitution and to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic".

"Based upon today's action, it is apparent that the Committee's true intention is not to discuss the great work of the Department of Justice, but to create a public spectacle".

A few hours later, Nadler tweeted, "CONFIRMED: Acting Attorney General Whitaker will appear".

"Mr. Attorney General, we're not joking here, and your humor is not acceptable", the congresswoman responded.

So far, the hearing has not shed much light on the status of the Mueller investigation - and it may not. Rosenstein is expected to step down in coming months.


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