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Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies before the House Judiciary Committee

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies before the House Judiciary Committee”

The hearing was the first, and likely only, chance for newly empowered Democrats in the majority to grill an attorney general they perceive as a Trump loyalist and whose appointment they suspect was aimed at suppressing investigations of the Republican president. "I have and will continue to manage this investigation in a manner that is consistent with the governing regulations".

"I know you're very interested in the special counsel investigation", Whitaker noted sarcastically.

Whitaker never directly answered Nadler about whether anyone had ever asked him to intervene with Mueller.

New records produced by the committee show that World Patent Marketing's parent company paid Whitaker $9,375 from October 2014 through February 2016 for his services as a board member.

Nadler later agreed to drop the threat, after Whitaker said he would back out from testifying if the subpoena was served.

The testimony comes as Whitaker is likely winding down his tenure leading the Justice Department with the nearly certain confirmation of Attorney General nominee William Barr in the coming weeks.

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Republicans, meanwhile, dismissed the hearing with the lame-duck attorney general as a political stunt and even moved to end it before it began.

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.

She also brought up Trump's attacks on the DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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.

He said he had "consulted with a lot of people" about the options, but it was ultimately his choice.

"[Democrats] are going so far to the left, so radical, so rude that I think the American public is gonna wake up", she said.

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A few hours later, Nadler tweeted, "CONFIRMED: Acting Attorney General Whitaker will appear".

After Mr Whitaker, the former chief of staff to Mr Sessions, was temporarily appointed to the position, it emerged he had written several op-eds that were sharply critical of Mr Mueller's probe. Whitaker was an outspoken critic of the investigation before arriving at the Justice Department in 2017.

"In your final week, keep your hands off the Mueller investigation", Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries told Whitaker.

Collins chided the Democrats for the hearing, characterizing it as "character assassination".

"It's getting a little tiresome hearing you stall", the New York Democrat told Whitaker.

Democrats have said they want to talk to Whitaker because he is a close ally of Trump who has criticized Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, which he oversees.

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He was also pushed to explain his decision not to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation.



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