Things to Know About Matthew Whitaker and Executive Privilege

Things to Know About Matthew Whitaker and Executive Privilege

Things to Know About Matthew Whitaker and Executive Privilege

Trump's naming of Whitaker as acting attorney general caused controversy in part because it meant that the president's appointee oversees the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into whether Moscow meddled in the election and colluded with Trump's campaign.

Whitaker's prepared testimony covered a range of Justice Department accomplishments, along with his intent not to discuss issues covered by executive privilege.

Nadler did not detail his discussions with the department but tweeted Thursday evening: "CONFIRMED: Acting Attorney General Whitaker will appear tomorrow morning at 9:30am". "There has been no decision that has required me to take any action, and I have not interfered with the special counsel's investigation in any way".

Whitaker then said he would not answer questions based on representatives' "speculation". After Nadler's opening statement - in which he also criticized Whitaker's decision not recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.

Republicans dismissed the hearing with Whitaker as a political stunt and moved to end it before it began. Whitaker responded. "Congresswoman, as I've mentioned several times, I am not talking about the conversations that I've had with the president or the rest of his senior staff".

"Similarly, Nadler prepared to subpoena Whitaker in case Whitaker refused to answer any of the questions", Mariotti continued. After conversations with the committee, a department spokeswoman said, Nadler agreed that the committee would not issue a subpoena tomorrow if Whitaker voluntarily appears at the hearing.

The chamber erupted in laughter and murmurs after an exchange in which Whitaker tried to avoid answering Nadler by reminding him of the time limit on questioning.

(AP) Mr Whitaker, even while expressing exasperation at the questioning by Democrats, nonetheless sought to assuage their concerns by saying he had never discussed with Mr Trump or other White House officials special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Whitaker balked at the subpoena threat until Nadler took a more conciliatory stance.

Asked about Whitaker testifying before Congress, President Donald Trump called Whitaker an "outstanding person" and said he would do very well should he testify.

Within minutes of the hearing, the top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins, called for a vote to adjourn, although he was quickly overruled by Democrats. Some Democrats consider Mr. Whitaker's appointment to be illegitimate'. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted, along party lines, to advance Barr's nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. "I say that with sadness, because the attorney general role is America's lawyer, we are his client, and we are represented by the congressmembers sitting in that room". "Have you communicated any information in that briefing to President Trump?"

The tense back-and-forth only served to raise the stakes on Whitaker's scheduled appearance, as each side accused the other of acting in bad faith, and sought to set a tone for the next two years of confrontations between the Democratic-controlled House and the Trump administration. "The rules are that you are here, and I need to ask the question and I need to have my time restored so that you can behave appropriately".

"Any questions unanswered today [that] require consultation with the White House, will be asked again ... and I expect either a clean answer or a proper assertion of privilege claimed by the president", Nadler said.

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