Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Dems Were 'Vicious And Totally Showed Their Cards' During Whitaker Hearing

Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker prepares to testify before the House Judiciary Committee Modal Trigger Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker prepares to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 10 February, 2019, 20:01

An aide to a senior House Republican said of Whitaker's jab during a hearing recess: 'I've never seen that one before. That motion was later defeated.

In his opening remarks, Whitaker said he was ready to answer questions -but not all of them.

He told politicians that since he took over as acting attorney general in November 2018, there has been no change in the "overall management" of Special Counsel's Robert Mueller investigation. There has been no event, no decision that's required me to take any action, and I have not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation'.

Republicans made clear they regarded Friday's hearing as a partisan exercise and a waste, given Whitaker's status as a probable short-timer. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) opened his time by questioning how Whitaker even ended up in his position.

Nadler said the hearing was crucial for lawmakers to get answers to questions about Whitaker's role at the Department of Justice and his appointment.

"How the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice?" This came after the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler informed Whitaker that the committee would not subpoena him as long as he shows up and is prepared to respond to their inquiries.

"I'm not going to surrender the responsibilities of the attorney general to get the title", he told Sen. He added that he has not denied any funds to the special counsel's investigation.

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 US elections was a problem, so too was voter fraud - a key issue for Republicans, but one that Democrats say is overstated.

Virginia lieutenant governor faces calls to resign amid sexual assault claims
Terry McAuliffe bluntly said, after Watson told her story in a statement from her law office, that Fairfax had to leave. Donald McEachin , a Virginia Democrat who can trace his history here back to Revolutionary War-era slaves.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee grew frustrated with Whitaker's approach to answering their questions - or, in their view, failure to answer them - and Nadler threatened to haul Whitaker back in for a deposition under subpoena because he wouldn't answer their questions.

Nadler then used the disruption to call a break. He previously tried backing out of the testimony unless the committee's members promised they would not issue him a subpoena.

The remark drew gasps in the hearing room, where committee chairmen hold huge power, including over who asks the questions and for how long.

Whitaker said late last month that Mueller's investigation is "close to being completed", although there has been no confirmation of this from the special counsel's office.

Whitaker, frequently smirking, later made a similar comment to another Democrat on the committee, Sheila Jackson Lee, prompting a fierce admonishment.

New records produced by the committee show that World Patent Marketing's parent company paid Whitaker $9,375 from October 2014 through February 2016 for his services as a board member.

Former Republican governor Chris Christie has known U.S. President Donald Trump for 17 years, but says the advice he's offered hasn't always been heeded.

On Thursday, Mr Burr told CBS News: "If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don't have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russian Federation".

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