Acting AG Testifies Before US House Panel

Acting AG Testifies Before US House Panel

"We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a T", Whitaker said.

"Bring your popcorn", he said.

Justice Department ethics officials had recommended Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation, a step he chose not to take.

The House hearing almost derailed on Thursday when Democrats on the panel voted to authorize Nadler to issue a subpoena to compel Whitaker to appear and answer questions.

Ever since CNN aired dramatic video footage of Stone last month as he was taken into custody on charges of obstruction, false statements and witness tampering, Trump and other Republicans have claimed, without offering supporting evidence, that the network must have been tipped off by the special counsel since CNN was the only outlet with a report stationed outside of Stone's Florida house that night.

The interim boss of the Justice Department looked as though he might appear after trading salvos with the House panel's Democratic chairman, Rep.

A number of law enforcement officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, have disputed the "witch hunt" label. Next week, the Senate will vote on the nomination of William Barr as attorney general. Mr. Whitaker, you don't run this committee!

"Mr. attorney general, we're not joking here".

He was asked whether he thought the special counsel was honest.

When the congresswoman turned back to Whitaker, he hesitated and said, "I'm sorry, what was your- I don't know if your time's been restored or not", prompting some laughter from the room.

"I think he's an outstanding person". I ask the department to work with the committee to provide them.

The Trump administration on Thursday moved its first chess piece in what is expected to be a contentious match between the White House and House Democrats as the latter seek documents and testimony for their oversight investigations of the president and his Cabinet.

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Whitaker said he'd read the memo.

Before they agreed to a hearing date, Nadler had maintained that Whitaker was dodging requests to appear.

Whitaker had publicly criticized the investigation before joining the Justice Department in 2017 but said on Friday he had not discussed it with Trump. Jeffries asked "how the heck" he became acting attorney general.

House Judiciary Republicans tried to block the Democrats' subpoena authorization, citing its unprecedented nature.

The stalemate ended Thursday evening after the committee chairman said the committee wouldn't issue a subpoena if Whitaker came voluntarily.

"I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel's investigation", Whitaker told House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat. Later, Nadler tweeted that Whitaker had agreed to show up.

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

The Justice Department has been led on a temporary basis by Whitaker since Sessions was ousted by Trump in November immediately after last year's midterm elections.

Nadler asked on Friday what Trump hoped to get out of appointing him and what Whitaker provided to Trump, a question the top Republican on the committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, called "offensive".

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"The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see", Trump tweeted.

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