Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

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

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

Whitaker agreed to testify at the hearing where Democrats' questioning largely focused on his oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee got into a testy exchange with the acting attorney general about whether the Mueller investigation was a "witch hunt" - one of the President's signature insults.

The House Judiciary Committee prepared the subpoena, at the same time the Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to vote to send the nomination of William Barr to become Attorney General to the floor shortly after 10 am Thursday.

"He argued that questions about Mr Trump's business interests were outside the special counsel's scope, and said: "[Mr Mueller] is only authorised to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and co-ordination between two entities - the Trump campaign and the Russian government".

Whitaker, the committee heads said, has not repaid those funds. "The Department of Justice must be such a place".

Over the past several weeks there have been a lot of questions circulating around whether or not Whitaker would voluntarily testify.

He was asked whether he thought the special counsel was honest. The chairman said in his opening statement that the acting attorney general's "reluctance to answer questions about these communications as a deeply troubling sign".

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

"I am not your puppet, to repeat what you are saying", Mr. Whitaker responded. Keep in mind, Whitaker was willing to appear without the subpoena.

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Jordan and conservative Republicans have sought unsuccessfully to gain access to the mostly redacted three-page memo that lays out the parameters of the special counsel's investigation.

Nadler, had threatened to do just that if committee members didn't get answers to questions they wanted; Democrats, who make up the panel's majority, voted to authorize a subpoena if necessary.

'In your capacity as acting attorney general, have you ever been asked to approve any action or request to be taken by the special counsel?' he asked.

Democrats demanded he recuse himself, and have called for an investigation into his decision not to recuse despite the recommendation from DOJ ethics officials.

House of Representatives judiciary committee hearing, adding that he has not taken any action in the probe or interfered "in any way". Even the run-up to Friday's hearing read like satire, with Whitaker trying at the last moment to wriggle out of testifying by demanding that the committee pledge not to subpoena him, then rushing to the media arm of the Heritage Foundation to complain that "the reputational hits are drive-by half-truths".

"We had the show yesterday", Collins said. Whitaker was the former attorney of the southern district of Iowa and former chief of staff for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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