Acting Attorney General Whitaker battles angry lawmakers at hearing


Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker repeatedly clashed with Democrats in a combative hearing Friday in which he told lawmakers he has not interfered with the special counsel investigation that he oversees.

Whitaker testified that he has not discussed the probe with President Donald Trump nor denied funding for it, as Democrats pressed him on everything from his conversations with the President and other White House officials to his decision not to recuse himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Facing off with Democrats in his first and likely only congressional testimony while leading the Justice Department, Whitaker was often defiant in responding to their questions, at one point cutting off Chairman Jerry Nadler to note the chairman’s allotted time was up, drawing the scoffs of astonished members of Congress.
Whitaker and Nadler, a New York Democrat, sparred over whether Whitaker could answer questions about his private conversations with senior White House officials and the President, but the acting attorney general made an exception to say he did not discuss the Mueller probe with them.
“We have followed the special counsel’s regulations to a T,” Whitaker said. “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.”

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