Val Demings calls acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's answers 'pitiful'

Val Demings calls acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's answers 'pitiful'

Republicans, meanwhile, dismissed the hearing with the lame-duck attorney general as a political stunt and even moved to end it before it began.

"I'm thinking maybe we just set up a popcorn machine in the back", said Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

Veteran says, 'I spent the money on a dream. He called for an adjournment, a motion that was easily defeated.

"There are a whole list of questions we don't know the answers to about foreign interference in the election, foreign influence over this administration and garden variety corruption, interference with justice, obstruction of justice and abuse of power in many ways", he said. Matthew Whitaker said Friday that he has not interfered with the ongoing Russian Federation investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Newly empowered House Democrats faced their first big oversight test Friday when Matthew Whitaker came to Capitol Hill for a six hour grilling. The panel had given Whitaker plenty of opportunities to prepare for the questioning, Nadler argued, but it was "clear" he hadn't. The Maryland congressman noted that Whitaker's "fascinating career" included having "owned a daycare center, a concrete supply business, trailer sales, GOP activist, US attorney...." And things got complicated on Thursday, after the House Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena for Whitaker, which Chair Jerrold Nadler said he would use only if Whitaker refused to answer the committee's questions.

The Acting Attorney General also told the Chairman he will be invoking executive privilege if asked about any conversations with President Trump.

However, he said, "I have not spoken to the president about the special counsel's investigation".

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.

Trump Vows to Protect People of Faith
Trump also introduced Elan Carr, the newly named special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. Two of the Holts' children - Max, 10, and Liz, 9 - joined the couple at the breakfast.

But Nadler, who a day earlier had threatened to subpoena Whitaker to ensure his appearance, left no doubt about his party's focus.

On social media, critics expressed shock at Whitaker's conduct, with some asserting that his rebuke of Nadler-like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's angry testimony before a Senate committee in September-was likely for President Donald Trump's benefit.

Whitaker said late last month that Mueller's investigation is "close to being completed", although there has been no confirmation of this from the special counsel's office.

Whitaker also denied a news report that Trump had lashed out at him after the guilty plea of Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer.

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

Whitaker has come under scrutiny for his involvement with the invention-promotion company, World Patent Marketing, which was accused of misleading consumers and has been under investigation by the FBI.

"When our members ask you if you conveyed sensitive information to the president, or ignored ethics advice at the direction of the president, or worked with the White House to orchestrate the firing of your predecessor, the answer should be 'no, '" Nadler added. He talks to Anna Maria Tremonti about his time working on Trump's campaign, and having the president's ear.

'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?' he asked. But when Jordan asked him whether specific names were in the document - which Jordan charged would go against Justice Department policy - Whitaker demurred.

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