AG Whitaker Will Testify Before House Panel on Friday

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday as scheduled, the panel’s Democratic chairman said.

Whitaker’s appearance had been thrown into uncertainty after House Democrats threatened to subpoena his testimony about the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

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Whitaker’s testimony has been highly anticipated by Democrats eager to press him on his interactions with President Donald Trump and his oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The panel, led by Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, approved a tentative subpoena to ensure that Whitaker appears Friday and answers questions. Whitaker responded by saying he won’t appear unless the committee dropped its subpoena threat, which he derided as an act of “political theater.”

On Thursday evening, Nadler said no subpoena would be issued if Whitaker appeared before the committee Friday prepared to answer questions. Later, Nadler tweeted that Whitaker had agreed to show up.

The vote by the committee didn’t issue a subpoena but allowed Nadler to do so if Whitaker was uncooperative. Nadler said he hoped not to have to use the subpoena, but “a series of troubling events over the past few months suggest that we should be prepared.” Nadler said that as late as last week the committee had received reports that some at the department were counseling Whitaker not to appear.

Whitaker insisted Thursday that that was not the case, saying he had “devoted considerable resources and numerous hours to my preparation” and was looking forward to the hearing. He criticized the committee for prematurely and unnecessarily authorizing a subpoena for him even though he had agreed to appear.

“Such unprecedented action breaches our prior agreement and circumvents the constitutionally required accommodation process,” Whitaker said in a statement.

“Based upon today’s action, it is apparent that the Committee’s true intention is not to discuss the great work of the Department of Justice, but to create a public spectacle. Political theater is not the purpose of an oversight hearing, and I will not allow that to be the case,” he added.

Democrats have said they want to talk to Whitaker because he is a close ally of Trump who has criticized Mueller’s Russia investigation, which he oversees.

They are calling him to testify even though his time leading the Justice Department is ending, with the Senate expected this month to confirm Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday to approve Barr’s nomination, sending the pick to the full Senate.

Republicans strongly opposed Nadler’s resolution to approve a subpoena if necessary. They said it was unnecessary because Whitaker was already appearing voluntarily.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel, called the subpoena authorization “political theater” before the vote. Collins said it was “choreographed by the chairman and starring the acting attorney general as some mythological protector of secrets.”

After Whitaker’s statement, Collins said Nadler had overplayed his hand.

“In a quest to score political points against the president, they authorized a pre-emptive subpoena, treating a voluntary witness as hostile,” Collins said.

In a separate letter sent to Nadler, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd demanded a response on the subpoena question. Boyd also responded to Nadler’s request for notification if Whitaker planned to assert executive privilege on certain topics.

Boyd laid out an argument for asserting such executive privilege in the letter, saying that administration officials from both parties have declined to answer questions about conversations they have had with the president.

“Rather than conducting appropriate oversight into the department’s programs and activities, the committee evidently seeks to ask questions about confidential presidential communications that no attorney general could ever be expected to disclose under the circumstances,” Boyd wrote.

Nadler had noted that previous Trump administration officials, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, declined to answer questions about conversations with the White House during testimony, saying that the president might want to claim executive privilege on those conversations in the future. Nadler said that is “ridiculous” and administration officials must provide the committee with answers or a better excuse to withhold them.

“Without the threat of a subpoena, I believe it may be difficult to hold Mr. Whitaker to this standard,” Nadler said.

via newsmax

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2 comments

  1. I sincerely hope the dem wits who voted the reps in congress that are dem wits like this scene. It shows the vindictive venemous stance of the left leaning dem wits. And it also shows this two years is going to be ugly with dem wit witch hunts instead of actual work getting done. It is truly sickening that we pay their wages and this is all they will do. The dem wit politician belong in an insane asylum and the constituents suffer. Nothing good is coming out of this party these days, just more crazy vindettas and socialist promises. What a win for the nation. NOT!

    And let us not forget their Green DEAL that CorteZ is presenting, FREE EVERYTHING! I think it is time to purge the illegal voters from the rolls since they will vote illegally for this crap. But definitely use those rolls to find and remove the illegals who will vote illegally from the country. Good hunting ICE! Dem wits, IDIOTS! And those who vote for them want socialism and that will give us what Venezuela has, a ruined broke country run by tyrants.

    If anyone thinks the rich will pay for free everything, think again. It will be the working people of the this country until they give up and we are all poor, starving and broke. Then socialism morphs to communism and it will not be these dem wit leaders in charge. It will be the regime of a tyrant that takes over and who will eliminate these morons in the country since they will be a threat to whomever gets to the top and rules. Better vote against these lunies who should be in an asylum and obviously do not read history.

  2. Freshman Dem wits, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have become serious problems for Dem wits struggling with rising hatred of Jews in the Democrat Party.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez puts her full support for Venezuelan-style socialism front and center. She favors a 70 percent wealth tax and a Soviet-style government takeover of the economy with her “Green New Deal.” Ocasio-Cortez is always looking for ways to bolster her profile, such as, a twitter exchange with Britain’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who’s her latest attempt to increase the rise behind her radical ideas.

    Ocasio-Cortez communication with Corbyn who defended anti-Semitic attacks on Israeli Jews by the UK’s Palestinian Ambassador, is obviously a dark side of her beliefs. Ocasio-Cortez’s connection with a known anti-Semite and other socialist Dem wit anti-Semites, like her peer freshmen comrades, Minn. Rep.(D) Ilhan Omar who has made comments & anti-Semitic tweets against Jews, and Rashida Tlaib who avowed support of Hezbollah and held big fundraisers with, Maher Abdel-qader, who’s known for his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on Facebook. These freshman Democratic politicians have surly darkned their start in Congress, with scandal and anti-Semitism.

    Dem wits have a growing anti-Semitism problem on their hands with Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar being in today’s Dem wit Party. Their behavior is defining the Dem wit Party and their embracing of anti-Semitic figures & comments are one of the biggest most damaging issues the Dem wit Party has today.

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