Whitaker Cuts off Nadler: 'I See That Your Five Minutes is Up

09 February, 2019, 05:55 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • House panel votes to authorize subpoena for Whitaker

The hearing Friday comes as the Senate is close to confirming Trump's nominee for attorney general. "They did so knowing that Congressional Republicans wouldn't compel their testimony".

The tension in the hearing room was high, even before the hearing got underway. But those conducting - and watching - did glean some new information.

The questions were all over the map, but primarily focused on Whitaker's role overseeing the special counsel probe into Russian interference being led by Robert Mueller.

Democrats were often frustrated with his refusal to answer his questions, particularly after he discussed in an exchange with Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the case against Roger Stone.

Swalwell tried one more time, "Can you say it to the president, though?"

Its likely too early to discern the implications of these revelations. Barr is widely expected to be confirmed. Some Democrats consider Mr. Whitaker's appointment to be illegitimate'.

"I consulted with career ethics officials, I consulted my senior staff, I consulted with the office of legal counsel - it was my decision to make, I decided not to recuse", he explained. Whitaker added that he will urge Mueller to "summarize his findings" in a simple report issued to Congress, which could eventually be made public. He also tweeted that an article referring to the probe as a lynch mob was "worth a read".

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"In your capacity as Acting Attorney General, have you ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the Special Counsel?" asked House Judiciary Chair Nadler. They never pursued that action. The notion is that each branch of government must give due respect to the other branches is a concept that arises from the separation of powers but is not explicit in the Constitution. Within just minutes of the hearing though, it became very apparent. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., about the conditions under which he would testify.

"I am here voluntarily, we have agreed to five-minute rounds", Whitaker said. "Answer the question please", he said.

In his opening statement, Whitaker said that while he would address the committee's questions, he would not reveal details of his communications with the Republican president.

In the letter Nadler sent Whitaker last week, he said he wants to ask about his decision not to recuse himself from the special counsel's investigation, whether he has ever been briefed on the special counsel's investigation, whether Mr. Trump contacted him about former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, and whether Mr. Trump ever talked about firing or reassigning personnel in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, among other things.

"It's shocking how nervous and unsure of himself Whitaker appears to be", Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, wrote in an e-mail to TIME.

Whitaker's testimony Friday was in limbo after the House Judiciary Committee approved a tentative subpoena to ensure he appeared. He even blasted the Republican Ranking Member for not asking him questions about the DOJ's efforts on religious liberty or other issues important to him. They were voted down every time, vastly outnumbered by Democrats. "It has everything to do, as we found out this morning in a document dump from the Democratic side of this committee and also another committee, that this is nothing more than a character assassination".

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