Livestream: Whitaker Testimony Before House Judiciary Committee

Saturday, 09 Feb, 2019

Whitaker continued the tone of his testimony, repeating his challenge of the committee's right to question his actions as head of the Justice Department when her demanded to know if Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) was basing a question on "anonymous sources".

During the hearing on Friday, Nadler threatened to force Whitaker to go back in front of the committee for a deposition.

Republicans, who until recently led the committee, complained on Friday that the hearing was a "dog and pony" show meant to discredit the president.

"I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel's investigation", Whitaker said. We have given you months to prepare. The letter declared Whitaker wouldn't appear before the panel, unless members withdrew a subpoena, compelling his testimony.

The acting attorney general first challenged Nadler's line of questioning when the chairman asked whether he had been briefed on Mueller's investigation in December 2018, including just before announcing that he would not recuse himself from the probe.

On November 7, President Donald Trump announced the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "If Whitaker was subpoenaed and refused to answer questions at that point, Congress could refer him to the [Justice Department] for Contempt of Congress".

Nadler told CNN Democrats will not be intimidated by Trump.

"This is a breach of the agreement", and a "striking departure from long-standing processes".

After opening statements Mr Collins called a vote on the motion to dismiss the hearing before questions had even begun, but it failed to pass.

"I think he's an outstanding person".

"I will continue the longstanding Executive Branch policy and practice of not disclosing information that may be subject to executive privilege", his statement said. "He's an outstanding person, a very very fine man", Trump said during a presidential memorandum signing in the Oval Office Thursday.

Whitaker also denied media reports that Trump lashed out at him after learning his former lawyer and personal fixer Michael Cohen was pleading guilty for lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.

"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?" "The Chairman should focus on helping the American people, rather than wasting time playing pointless political games".

Jackson Lee's response was triggered after she asked the House Judiciary Committee if her time to question the witness was restored and Whitaker replied that he was not sure.

This story "Nadler Clashes With Whitaker At Tense Hearing" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis. Whitaker promptly responded by saying he would not attend the hearing if the subpoena was used.

"The subpoena will only be issued if he refuses to answer questions on a speculative basis of privilege", Nadler said.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., tried to adjourn the hearing before it started, saying it was an attempt at character assassination of Trump. "There has been no breakdown here".

After Baldwin showed the clip, Dean said, "That's a rookie mistake". "They're not anxious about him showing up-he's already said he's coming".

The only other staffer present during the Mueller briefing was Gregg Scott, US attorney from the eastern district of California, Mr Whitaker said.