Acting AG Whitaker testifies before House DOJ oversight hearing

Whitaker Confirmed to Appear Before Panel as Scheduled

WATCH LIVE: Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee at 9:30am ET

'We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a tee.

Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will decline to testify before a House of Representatives committee on Friday if Democrats issue a subpoena, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

The hearing was supposed to cover routine oversight of the Department of Justice, but several Democrats used the opportunity to ask Whitaker about his background and his private conversations with President Donald Trump.

Whitaker, the committee heads said, has not repaid those funds.

Republicans made clear they viewed the hearing as pointless political grandstanding, especially since Whitaker may have less than a week left in the job, and some respected his wishes by asking questions about topics other than Mueller's probe into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

The hearing came a day after the chairman, Democratic Rep.

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One of the Oval Office guests was a farmer from the country of Georgia who says she was denied a bank loan because she is a woman. Bush in 2003. "We're proud of our legacy of being a generous nation, looking to uplift others around the world".

Near the beginning of the hearing, the 49-year-old informed Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that his five-minutes questioning time had expired, prompting gasps from the chamber.

Committee members are allotted five minutes to ask questions of Whitaker, or any other witness testifying, but those five minutes are monitored by the Chair and can be fluid.

However, he said, "I have not spoken to the president about the special counsel's investigation". The Democrats originally launched probes that ended past year. Meanwhile, he could not have stated more emphatically that he meant to let the Mueller investigation run its course: "I believe it is vitally important that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation", he testified then.

But this week, Nadler and the Department of Justice fought in a series of letters released to the public, as Democrats voted to give Nadler the power to subpoena Whitaker should he not appear or refuse to answer the committee's questions.

The chairman said in his opening statement that the acting attorney general's "reluctance to answer questions about these communications as a deeply troubling sign". His answers were combative and intentionally disruptive.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the committee's ranking Republican, said the hearing was "nothing more than a character assassination" and an attempt to "get at the president".

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Raskin delved into Whitaker's activities prior to being appointed to his current temporary position by President Trump, who fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the 2018 midterms.

The only other staffer present during the Mueller briefing was Gregg Scott, US attorney from the eastern district of California, Mr Whitaker said. Here's one: Trump's acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings.

"Mr. attorney general, we're not joking here". Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee got into a testy exchange with the acting attorney general about whether the Mueller investigation was a "witch hunt" - one of the President's signature insults. Rosenstein is expected to step down in coming months. Stone also had been telling news outlets for some time that he thought he may be a target of Mueller's investigation.

In response, Whitaker, who previously had agreed to testify, warned that he wouldn't show up unless lawmakers dropped the ultimatum he described as "political theater".

NBC called it an "extraordinary move" for Whitaker to cut off Nadler.

It wasn't until Thursday night that the issue was settled with no subpoena.

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