Whitaker testifies after a fight over the subpoena power of the United States House of Representatives!
Swalwell: “Has there been a discussion at the Department of Justice about keeping the Mueller report from going to Congress?”
Whitaker: “No. We, in fact, were continuing to follow the special counsel regulations as it relates to the report. We haven’t received the report.”
Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell asked Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker about any discussions inside his department.
Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser to Trump, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge from Mueller’s office.
He also pleaded guilty to eight counts in a separate case from the Manhattan US attorney’s office.
Whitaker denies a report that Trump lashed out at him
Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker denied a CNN report that President Trump had lashed out at him on at least two occasions.
Angered by federal prosecutors who referenced the President’s actions in crimes his former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to.
Asked by Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, if the President had “lashed out” at him after Michael Cohen’s guilty plea for lying to Congress.
Whitaker also denied that anyone inside or outside of the White House had lashed out at him after the Cohen developments.
Here’s the exchange:
Cicilline: “Did the President lash out at you after Michael Cohen’s guilty plea for lying to Congress about a Trump organization project to build a tower in Moscow?”
Whitaker: “The President specifically tweeted that he had not lashed out.”
Whitaker: “Congressman that is based on an unsubstantiated…”
Cicilline: “Sir, answer the question: yes or no, did the President lash out at you about Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea?”
Whitaker: “No he did not.”
The FBI is prepared to brief House Judiciary Committee members in a closed session on the factors that influenced their decision to conduct the Roger Stone arrest before dawn and with heavy weapons drawn, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said Friday.
“I cannot provide the details in this open hearing without revealing what factors the FBI considers in those decisions and obviously that information could be used to put other FBI agents conducting other operations in harm’s way.
What I can assure you, the congressman is that the FBI is prepared to brief this matter on the decisions that were made in that particular arrest in a closed session of this committee,” he said.
A number of Republican lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to explain the manner of the arrest.
Democratic congressman tells Whitaker: “Keep your hands off the Mueller investigation”
Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who earlier today told CNN that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was acting like a “petulant child,” opened his five-minute questioning by asking, “Who are you?
Where did you come from? And how the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice?”
“One by one, all of the president’s men are going down in flames,” Jeffries said.
“Let’s be clear. The investigation into Russia’s attack on democracy is not a witch hunt, it’s not a fishing expedition, it’s not a hoax, it’s not a lynch mob, it’s a national security imperative.
The fact that people suggest otherwise comes dangerously close to providing aid and comfort to the enemy,” he added.
“In your final week, keep your hands off the Mueller investigation,” Jeffries warned before yielding his time.
“You know, I have to say that I’m very disappointed in this hearing. You know, I ran for Congress to get things done, and at the beginning of this, you know, we were told that this is about asking about DOJ oversight and some legitimate questions,” she said.
Lesko said the hearing is “nothing but character assassination, harassment of our witness, and it’s really disappointing.”
The congresswoman said she was initially mad about the hearing. But now she’s sad.
“At first I was mad. I have to tell you when this thing started hours ago, I went outside and a reporter asked me, what do you think of the hearing? I said, ‘It’s a joke.’
But now I’m just sad. I’m sad because we were on the floor just a little while ago talking about how we are honoring our late representative (John) Dingell in talking about bipartisanship and how we need to get things done.
And yet here we are a blatant political show that doesn’t help anything. I imagine if American people are watching this right now, they would be shaking their heads, like what are you doing there? We need to work together to get things done,” Lesko said.
Democratic congressman says Whitaker lied to Congress about his interactions with Trump
Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said he doesn’t believe Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker’s assurances that he didn’t talk to President Trump about special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Cohen told CNN he thinks Whitaker is lying. (Remember: Lying to Congress is a crime.)
When pressed on the claim, Cohen had no evidence to contradict Whitaker. Yet he thinks Whitaker broke the law.
During the hearing, Cohen pressed Whitaker on whether he thinks the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.” President Trump has repeatedly called the probe a “witch hunt.”
Whitaker did not answer the question. He, however, did say he has not denied funds to Mueller and his team.