• Follow us

International

Acting U.S. attorney general reluctant to talk Mueller probe in stormy House hearing | CBC News

Acting U.S. attorney general Matthew Whitaker faced a sharply divided congressional committee Friday, with Democrats pressing him on his relationship to President Donald Trump and oversight of the special counsel's Russia investigation.

Whitaker laid the groundwork for a day of friction with Democrats by saying in his opening statement that while he would address their questions, he would not reveal details of his communications with the Republican president.

He told lawmakers that there has been no change since his arrival in the job in the "overall management" of special counsel's Robert Mueller investigation. He said that he has run the Justice Department to the best of his ability, with "fidelity to the law and to the Constitution."

"I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel's investigation," Whitaker told a U.S. House of Representatives judiciary committee hearing, adding that he has not taken any action in the probe or interfered "in any way."

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.

"Mr. Whitaker, like everyone else at the Department of Justice, you are entitled to your political opinions," Democratic committee chair Jared Nadler said at the start of Friday's hearing.

"But when career officials at the department recommended that you take steps to mitigate your apparent conflicts of interest, Mr. Whitaker — when they told you that your public criticism of the special counsel was bad for the department and bad for the administration of justice, you ignored them."

In the first significant hearing of the Democratic-led commitee, chair Jerrold Nadler had his hands full maintaining order on occasion as the two parties bickered over lines of questioning and rules of order. (J. Scott Applehwite/Associated Press)

Whitaker said he sought counsel, but defended his decision on Friday.

"I had no conflict of interest," he insisted.

"Ultimately, the decision whether or not to recuse was my decision."

i've watched an awful lot of hearings in my 12 years here and i'm...pretty sure i've never seen that before... <a href="https://t.co/jTnpS2HjP0">https://t.co/jTnpS2HjP0</a>

&mdash;@Phil_Mattingly

Whitaker and Nadler then clashed when the witness informed the chair his five-minute time limit to ask questions had run out. At another point, he asked Nadler "what is the basis" for a question.

Whitaker is likely in his final days as the country's chief law enforcement officer because the Senate plans to vote soon on confirming William Barr, Trump's pick for attorney general.

"There has been no change in the overall management of the special counsel investigation," Whitaker said. "I have and will continue to manage this investigation in a manner that is consistent with the governing regulations."

Jamie Raskin, Democrat from Maryland, reacts as Whitaker tells committee chair Jared Nadler his time has expired for questioning. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

Trump has assailed the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt," but when pressed repeatedly by Democrat Steve Cohen of Tennessee on whether he agreed with that characterization of the probe, Whitaker declined to answer, citing the ongoing investigation.

Asked by Cohen if he would stop a "witch hunt," Whitaker said it would be "inappropriate" to answer that question.

Barr testified in December that he does not believe Mueller would be involved in a "witch hunt."

Whitaker did allow under separate questioning that he had no reason to believe Mueller wasn't honest.

'Dog and pony show': ranking Republican

Democrats who perceive Whitaker as a Trump loyalist asked about Whitaker's comment last week that he believed the investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign was nearly done. Whitaker said he didn't have anything to add to that previous comment, but offered that Mueller would determine when his inquiry was finished.

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 Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House judiciary committee.

Republican Doug Collins assailed the purpose for the hearing and unsuccessfully called for it to be adjourned. (Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press)

Collins called the hearing a "dog and pony show" and criticized Democrats for disclosing derogatory information about Whitaker's business dealings hours before the hearing. He called for an adjournment, a motion that was easily defeated.

Republicans on Friday sought to focus on subjects such as apparent leaks within the FBI and Justice Department and the flow of drugs from China and Mexico.

Whitaker had been chief of staff to Sessions, who was forced from the cabinet last November as Trump seethed over Sessions's decision to step aside from overseeing the Russia investigation.

Whitaker was an outspoken critic of the investigation before arriving at the Justice Department in 2017. He said Friday he was a private citizen at the time, with his only knowledge of the investigation what was publicly reported.

Trump insists there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia, although there is no federal crime of collusion. The president could be damaged politically were there to be evidence of conspiracy or obstruction of justice.

In the previous session of the House, the Republican-led intelligence committee released a report early in 2018 indicating that Trump's campaign had not colluded with Russia during the election, which the Democrats on the panel panned as a premature conclusion.

Weren't tracking separations, Whitaker admits

Elsewhere, Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal questioned Whitaker about the administration's controversial policy of separating children from adult migrants who crossed the border between ports of entry. 

"I don't believe we were tracking that," Whitaker admitted.

"The responsibility for the arrest, the detention and together with the custody of the children was handled by DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and HHS [Health and Human Services] before those people were ever transferred to DOJ custody through the U.S. marshal," he added.

Democrats also inquired about Whitaker's past business dealings, too. Nadler and three other House committee chairmen released documents that they said show Whitaker failed to return thousands of dollars that were supposed to be distributed to victims of a company's alleged fraud.

Former Republican governor Chris Christie has known U.S. President Donald Trump for 17 years, but says the advice he's offered hasn't always been heeded. He talks to Anna Maria Tremonti about his time working on Trump's campaign, and having the president's ear. 23:49

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

Whitaker's highly anticipated testimony Friday had been in limbo after the Democratic-led committee approved a tentative subpoena to ensure that he appeared and answered questions. Whitaker responded by saying that he would not come unless the committee dropped its subpoena threat, which he called an act of "political theatre."

The stalemate ended Thursday evening after the committee chairman, Nadler of New York, said the committee would not issue a subpoena if Whitaker appeared voluntarily.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

FOX News

Israeli fire kills 2 Palestinian teenagers at Gaza 2019-02-08 11:31:58Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers on Friday as thousands held demonstrations along the perimeter fence separating Gaza and Isra

The Latest: Thai king vetos sister's election candidacy 2019-02-08 11:31:24The Latest on Thai princess's decision to run for prime minister (all times local): 11 p.m. Thailand's king has issued a decree stating that no memb

Brazilian MP, 43, defends herself after being slammed 2019-02-08 11:14:54Ana Paula da Silva, from the southern state of Santa Catarina, showed up to the ceremony on February 1 in a red jumpsuit with a deep neckline - sparki

Hundreds of strangers take part in Jewish funeral 2019-02-08 11:13:37Eddie Ford was a Holocaust survivor who longed for the Jewish life he had been denied, His final wish was to have a Jewish burial.

Spain questions Catholic Church over sex abuse cases 2019-02-08 10:59:22Spain's justice minister has asked the country's Catholic Church leaders to hand over all the information they possess about internal investigations

7 Russian coal miners die in accidents in 2019-02-08 10:38:26Russian officials say that seven workers have died in two separate accidents at Siberian coal mines.

Mystery owner of USB found in frozen seal 2019-02-08 10:35:10The mystery owner of the USB drive found inside a thawed slab of frozen leopard seal poop in New Zealand has been revealed.

German auction house pulls Adolf Hitler artworks days 2019-02-08 10:24:21A German auction house has been forced to pull several paintings attributed to Adolf Hitler just days before they were due to be put up for sale.

British female military cadet, 21, suspected to have 2019-02-08 09:50:39A 21-year-old female cadet at a prestigious British military academy that as trained the likes of Princes Harry and William is suspected to have commi

British actor Albert Finney dies at 82 2019-02-08 09:37:46British actor Albert Finney, the Academy Award-nominated star of films from "Tom Jones" to "Skyfall," has died at the age of 82.

The week in pictures, Feb. 2 - Feb. 2019-02-08 09:26:55Take a look at and enjoy some of the most evocative, momentous images captured around the world in the past seven days.

Sudan official: Beatings led to iconic protester's death 2019-02-08 09:09:35A governmental committee probing protester deaths in Sudan says a slain teacher who became an iconic figure in the recent uprising died of wounds sust

CBC | World News

Acting U.S. attorney general reluctant to talk Mueller 2019-02-08 11:11:09Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker faced a sharply divided congressional committee Friday, with Democrats pressing him on his relationship

Woman faces charges after Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway 2019-02-08 10:51:15White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway says she was assaulted at a Maryland restaurant last year by a woman who grabbed and shook her, an accusat

British actor Albert Finney dies at 82 2019-02-08 10:09:46British actor Albert Finney, the Academy Award-nominated star of films from Tom Jones to Skyfall, has died at the age of 82.

From Gucci to Prada, fashion fails evoke 'racist' 2019-02-08 08:38:30Some of the world's top fashion brands have raised eyebrows with designs that have racist connotations, the latest being Gucci's blackface-like bala

Thai princess Ubolratana stuns election observers by announcing 2019-02-08 08:28:19The older sister of the king of Thailand said Friday she will run for prime minister in elections next month, upending the palace's decades-long trad

U.S. Supreme Court blocks strict Louisiana abortion clinic 2019-02-08 06:24:20A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday stopped a Louisiana law imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics from going into effect in its first m

Fire at Brazilian soccer team's training centre kills 2019-02-08 06:11:37A fire tore through the sprawling training complex of one of Brazil's biggest soccer clubs Friday, killing 10 people and injuring three in Rio de Jan

Fight over food aid a high-stakes battle in 2019-02-08 04:33:01People backing Venezuela’s opposition want results, but as expectations rise so does the risk that they won’t be met. In a country beset b

British, Irish leaders meet amid Brexit tensions 2019-02-08 04:18:55British and Irish leaders are meeting to discuss the Irish border — and mend fences — amid a tense U.K.-EU standoff over Brexit.

Ireland didn't have a proper ice hockey rink 2019-02-08 04:00:00After almost 10 years of not having a suitable rink, the Irish Ice Hockey Association has managed to secure funding for a lone year-round ice rink in

Can climate-conscious celebrities influence our eating habits? 2019-02-08 04:00:00In this week's issue of our environment newsletter, we look at the growing trend of celebrities promoting an eco-friendly vegan diet, as well as the

Turkey says Saudi lack of transparency on Khashoggi 2019-02-08 03:49:52The "complete lack of transparency" from Saudi officials on the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is deeply concerning an

World News - UPI.com

Uruguay changes posture and calls for elections in 2019-02-08 11:59:51 Uruguay officials have changed posture toward solving a crisis in Venezuela and signed a declaration calling for Caracas to hold new elections immedi

China sent ships near Philippine-administered island, think tank 2019-02-08 11:50:12 China may have been quietly responding to new Philippine construction in the South China Sea with deployments of ships from Subi Reef.

Thai princess Ubolratana Mahidolr unning for prime minister 2019-02-08 09:57:18 For the first time in the 86-year history of Thailand's constitutional monarchy, a member of the nation's royal family has run for prime minister.

South Korea conservatives clash with Gwangju Uprising activists 2019-02-08 09:48:33 A group of lawmakers from South Korea's main conservative opposition invited a controversial politician to speak at a public hearing on the Gwangju

Fire kills 10 teenage soccer players at Flamengo 2019-02-08 08:53:00 Ten teenage Brazilian soccer players were killed Friday when a team training center caught fire in Rio de Janeiro, officials said.

North Korea quietly marks army's founding anniversary 2019-02-08 02:20:55 North Korea quietly marked the anniversary of its army's founding Friday as leader Kim Jong Un prepares to hold a second summit with President Donal

Body recovered from plane wreckage identified as soccer 2019-02-07 21:46:34 The body recovered from the wreckage of a plane at the bottom of the English Channel has been identified as star Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sal

France recalls ambassador to Italy over 'baseless attacks' 2019-02-07 18:46:07 France recalled its ambassador to Italy Thursday, citing comments made by Italian politicians criticizing French President Emmanuel Macron.

South Korea professor accused of sexual harassment at 2019-02-07 15:56:27 A graduate student at Seoul National University has posted on campus a multipage exposé of her experience with sexual harassment.

Mexico, Uruguay, EU officials meet over Venezuela crisis 2019-02-07 13:46:08 Officials of more than a dozen countries, including Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the European Union met Thursday in Montevideo to seek dialogue in Ve

Sri Lanka leader ends 43-year moratorium on capital 2019-02-07 12:27:43 Sri Lanka will soon end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment and begin hanging condemned inmates within a couple months.

German watchdog: Facebook collected user data without consent 2019-02-07 11:17:33 Facebook will appeal a German ruling Thursday that said it used market dominance to collect, merge and use data from users without their knowledge or

RT - Daily news

2 Palestinian teens killed by Israeli fire in 2019-02-08 11:41:00Read Full Article at RT.com

'Racist to its sole': Adidas removes all-white cotton 2019-02-08 11:38:00 Sportswear giant Adidas has withdrawn all-white Ultraboost sneakers from a collection designed to honor Black History Month, after facing a backlash

Ankara says UN investigation on Khashoggi killing has 2019-02-08 11:37:00Read Full Article at RT.com

Apple to finally pay teen who discovered FaceTime 2019-02-08 11:33:18 Apple has announced that it will pay an undisclosed sum to the Arizona teenager who discovered a major security flaw in the company’s FaceTime

‘You’re deaf’: Maduro says EU is not listening 2019-02-08 11:21:00 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has rejected the “partisan and ideological nature” of the EU-backed International Contact Group on Ve

‘Due to police brutality’: Yellow Vests will no 2019-02-08 11:20:00 The Yellow Vest movement will no longer inform officials about its rallies, citing severe injuries sustained by dozens of French protesters in clashe

Huawei 5G ban: US dragging Germany into harmful 2019-02-08 10:59:51 Washington seeks to enforce its China policy upon its allies, a German industry union head has said in a rare remark. He warned that conceding to Was

‘It’s giving me a headache looking at it’: 2019-02-08 10:41:00 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s team selections appear to be far better than his wardrobe choices as he was mocked for donning a partic

Massive national strike to keep almost all flights 2019-02-08 10:39:58Three Belgium trade unions have called for a country-wide general strike next Wednesday over wage disputes, with authorities warning travelers to expe

Miraculous revival of polar vortex frozen cat sparks 2019-02-08 10:19:53 An injured cat found buried in snow and virtually frozen solid after the polar vortex blasted much of the US has been miraculously revived from the b

‘We want Conor v Cerrone in summer, Ferguson 2019-02-08 10:19:00 UFC chief Dana White has revealed how he sees the futures of Conor McGregor and current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov panning out, amid fe

'Washington willing to send its sons to die 2019-02-08 10:18:00 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has slammed Washington’s belligerent rhetoric towards his country in an open letter addressed to the Americ


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.