Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

The gallery at the House Judiciary Committee hearing Friday during which Democrats peppered acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker with questions about FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation literally gasped. When Nadler gaveled the hearing into a five-minute recess, Whitaker said into an open mic: "Five minutes for lunch?"

"The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see", Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday to approve Barr's nomination, sending the pick to the full Senate.

At times, Whitaker appeared to be adopting deliberate stalling tactics to avoid answering Democrats' questions.

Nadler, giving off a laugh of disbelief, called for a break from the hearing. House Democrats only have two years of a guaranteed majority with which to investigate the administration.

As acting attorney general, he refused to recuse himself from supervising Mueller's probe despite the advice of a career Justice Department ethics official who was concerned his past comments created the appearance of a conflict of interest, department officials said.

"This subpoena is nothing short of political theater", said the ranking Republican, Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.). Mr. Whitaker, you don't run this committee!

"The committee can and should expect a direct answer to any question", said Nadler, who opted to send Whitaker his questions in advance and require that he tell the panel of any plans to invoke executive privilege at least 48 hours before the hearing.

Republicans dismissed the hearing with Whitaker as a political stunt and moved to end it before it began.

Trump soured on Sessions after the attorney general recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation in early 2017, and the president frequently bashed the former senator on Twitter and in interviews.

"We have followed the special counsel regulations to a T", said Whitaker, a Trump appointee.

Friday was likely the first and last time that Whitaker will testify as acting attorney general.

"How the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice?"

Nadler also wants to know why President Donald Trump left Whitaker in his acting position for so long after Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out.

"In your final week, keep your hands off the Mueller investigation", House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) warned.

Whitaker vented frustration early on as he repeatedly insisted that he would not discuss his conversations with Trump and tried to shift attention to the conventional work of the Justice Department. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the committee, of the committee's rules.

Republicans, now in the minority on a committee they once ran, called the hearing pointless.

On Thursday the House panel voted to authorize a subpoena of Whitaker.

According to CNN, former Trump associate Roger Stone was "one of the last key campaign associates" to be investigated.

Trump critics and leftists mocked Whitaker as "unqualified and ignorant".

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