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In Testy Hearing, Acting AG Draws Laughter

'Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,' Matthew Whitaker informs Jerry Nadler
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2019 1:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker appeared before the House Judiciary Committee Friday for a hearing that was as contentious as expected. Democrats repeatedly grilled him about the Robert Mueller investigation, and Whitaker insisted he has not "interfered in any way" with the inquiry, reports Politico. One of the more notable moments came as committee chairman Jerry Nadler was questioning Whitaker. “Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” Whitaker said, drawing laughter, reports the Washington Post. (See video of the exchange here; it's around the 1:40 mark.) Whitaker also told lawmakers that he has not spoken to his boss about the Mueller probe.

“I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel’s investigation,” Whitaker said. He declined to say whether he agreed with the president's view that the investigation is a "witch hunt." GOP Rep. Douglas Collins called the hearing "pointless" and accused Democrats of "character assassination." Whitaker, meanwhile, seems to be near the end of his temporary tenure. The Senate is expected to confirm William Barr for the permanent position as early as next week. (Whitaker appeared only after Democrats agreed not to subpoena him.)

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