Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified to Congress. in A Nutshell

  • Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified to Congress under oath on Friday that he has not taken action to interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential election. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • In tense questioning led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Whitaker also denied ever speaking with President Trump or anyone in the White House about the Mueller probe. [NYT / Katie Benner, Nicholas Fandos, and Charlie Savage]
  • In a confusing statement last month, Whitaker said the Mueller investigation was “close to be[ing] completed.” This contradicted other accounts that Mueller needed more time to finish the probe. [Politico / Andrew Desiderio and Darren Samuelsohn]
  • Democrats on the panel asked about a range of topics, including whether Trump had lashed out against Whitaker over federal charges against Michael Cohen, how Whitaker even became acting AG, and whether he believes the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.” [The Hill]
  • “Bring your popcorn,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the head GOP in the committee, calling the trial mere “political theater.” Collins even called to adjourn the hearing, but Democrats outvoted the move. [CNN / Jeremy Herb and Alex Rogers]
  • A snapshot of the contentious hearing: “Mr. Chairman, I see that your time is up,” Whitaker said to Nadler when asked if he ever approved actions taken by the special counsel. The Democratic panel responded with laughter at Whitaker’s avoidance of the question. The comment was also a breach of protocol — as chair, Nadler is the one who sets the talking time, not Whitaker. [Vox / Aaron Rupar]
  • There was even doubt that Whitaker would show up to testify; he refused on Wednesday to come to questioning unless Democrats promised they wouldn’t subpoena him, which Nadler eventually agreed to. The set of exchanges symbolizes the tense relationship between the Trump administration and the Democratic House. [Washington Post / Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky]


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