Rep Doug Collins (R-GA) questions Matt Whitaker

Posted February 11, 2019

Since taking control of the House in January, Democrats have pushed to question Mr. Whitaker about his views on the special counsel.

Rosenstein also has tried to reassure people outside the Justice Department that irrespective of who is actually supervising the special counsel's office - whether him or Whitaker or the next likely attorney general, William Barr - the Mueller investigation would be handled "appropriately".

The hearing was hugely confrontational, as Democrat after Democrat grilled Whitaker over his ascension to acting attorney general, his conversations about the ongoing investigation and his past comments as a private citizen about Mueller and the probe.

Democrats who perceive Whitaker as a Trump loyalist are also expected to ask about Whitaker's comment last week that he believed the investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign was almost done.

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That's according to Whitaker's prepared remarks released as he arrived on Capitol Hill to testify before the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee on Friday.

Democrats have expressed concerns about Whitaker's previous partisan statements about the Mueller probe, his resumé and not being in the line of succession to succeed Jeff Sessions.

That drew a response from Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee. He is the person "ultimately in charge of the investigation", yet insisted he has not interfered in any way with it. Since then, he has repeatedly shown that he is in way over his head at the Department, as when he asserted last week that the "decisions" of the Mueller investigation-which, he suggested, is "close to being completed"-"are going to be reviewed, you know, either through the various means we have". But Whitaker fired back, saying through a letter from the Justice Department that he would not testify at all if the committee issued a subpoena.

"I have no reason to believe he's not honest, so yes I do believe he's honest", Whitaker said.

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It was when Whitaker reminded Rep.

She went on to bring up his conversations with President Donald Trump and asked if they ever spoke about the SDNY case involving Michael Cohen.

White House officials kept an eye on Whitaker's performance and, while they appreciated his combative tone and aggressive defense of the administration, there was a sense from aides that his performance, at times, appeared halting.

"When career officials at the department recommended that you take steps to mitigate your apparent conflicts of interest, . you ignored them", Nadler said. We have agreed to five-minute rounds, ' said Whitaker, the only one in the room who appeared unaware that committee chairmen can bend the rules almost at will.

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At 9:30 a.m. ET, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. "As part of that work, I fully intend to call you back for an interview, under subpoena if necessary, and I expect more fulsome answers at that time".