Whitaker Stuns Committee by Telling Judiciary Chairman ‘Your Five Minutes Is Up’

Whitaker Stuns Committee by Telling Judiciary Chairman ‘Your Five Minutes Is Up’

"I have not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation".

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

"Bring your popcorn", he said.

"You have challenged my character", Whitaker began to say after Raskin repeatedly asked for the name of the charity the acting attorney general had previously run. "I have been appointed according to the Vacancies Reform Act, and I have never appeared in front of Congress for any hearing, even when I was United States attorney", Whitaker said.

Whitaker had been chief of staff to Sessions, who was forced from the Cabinet last November as Trump seethed over Sessions' decision to step aside from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. "You see what happened at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they're all gone, but there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that too'". "You'd stop a witch hunt, wouldn't you?"

Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote next week.

Mr. Whitaker told lawmakers that has not curtailed Mr. Mueller's probe and he has not denied funding for it. "The Department of Justice must be such a place".

The acting attorney general said that Mueller was would finish the probe "when he wants to finish his investigation".

"Have you ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the special counsel?" He also signaled that he would give limited answers about the investigation itself.

'We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a tee. He then asked whether she was permitted to continue with her questioning despite going over her five-minute limit.

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He asked Whitaker about the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest of Roger Stone, the political operative who has longtime ties to Trump.

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.

He also said all Whitaker received the questions weeks ago so they would know ahead of time which were subject to executive privilege. Whitaker was an outspoken critic of the investigation before arriving at the Justice Department in 2017.

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

Whitaker, who had agreed to testify voluntarily, responded by saying he would not attend the hearing unless Nadler promised he would not issue such a subpoena.

The tone of the hearing had been teased on Thursday when Nadler threatened to subpoena Whitaker, while the DOJ threatened to boycott the hearing.

Whitaker said he'd "re-established a positive relationship between the Department of Justice and the White House" since becoming acting attorney general, leading Demings to ask if he agreed with Trump before taking that position.

"Ultimately, the decision whether or not to recuse was my decision".

"I can assure you [Barr] has a very high opinion of Mr. Mueller and he is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish his job", Republican South Carolina Sen.

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