Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Acting Attorney General Whitaker Faces House Judiciary Committee

Acting Attorney General Whitaker Faces House Judiciary Committee

Former US attorney and MSNBC contributor Chuck Rosenberg knocked Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker today for his comments at today's House Judiciary Committee hearing about special counsel Robert Mueller.

The hearing was supposed to cover routine oversight of the Department of Justice, but several Democrats used the opportunity to ask Whitaker about his background and his private conversations with President Donald Trump. "I am here voluntarily".

Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has said he has not spoken to the president or any senior White House staff about the Russian Federation inquiry. House Democrats also berated Whitaker on the administration's immigration policy and about family separations at the border.

Jeffries asked "how the heck" he became acting attorney general.

"In light of that commitment", department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement, Whitaker looked forward to going to Capitol Hill and discussing "the great work" carried out by the department. Democratic members of the committee erupted in laughter as Whitaker overstepped his role as a witness before the committee.

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) said Friday that the United States government should pay reparations to be made to migrant kids who had been separated from their families at the border.

Later, Nadler agreed to drop the threat, paving the way for Whitaker's appearance before the panel.

The acting attorney general said he thought Mr. Mueller was both honest and not conflicted. Jerrold Nadler of NY, and Whitaker sparred over Nadler's threat to issue a subpoena to compel his appearance to answer questions.

That drew a response from Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee.

"Bring your popcorn", he said.

Demings repeatedly asked if Whitaker ever discussed with Trump the Southern District of New York's case against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty past year to eight counts of campaign finance and tax violations, including making payments to porn star Stormy Daniels at what he said was the direction of Trump himself.

"When career officials at the department recommended that you take steps to mitigate your apparent conflicts of interest, . you ignored them", Nadler said.

He was also pushed to explain his decision not to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation.

(Nota bene: Whitaker was under oath.) My observations are in the chronological order that Whitaker said them. "I have no reason to believe he is not honest".

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, asked Whitaker to explain what was in the "scoping memo" that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote about the Mueller investigation in August 2017.

Mr Trump fired his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in November 2018.

Mr Whitaker is due to be replaced by William Barr after a Senate confirmation hearing in the coming weeks.

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".

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