Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker fielded questions from House lawmakers Friday about conversations he had with President Donald Trump that discussed the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation.
Whitaker said the committee has "deviated from historic practice and protocol and taken the unnecessary and premature step of authorizing a subpoena to me, the acting attorney general, even though I had agreed to voluntarily appear".
"The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see", Trump tweeted Saturday morning. In response to Nadler's questions, Whitaker insisted that he has "not interfered in any way" with the ongoing probe. Later, Nadler tweeted that Whitaker had agreed to show up. If Matt Whitaker had been on trial for the crime of jay-walking or littering, if the Democrats had their way, he would be on death row by now.
"Chairman Nadler and Democrats overplayed their hand", ranking member Doug Collins of Georgia said.
Last month, Whitaker publicly said that the Mueller probe is "close to being completed".
The Democrat's "jaw dropped when Acting AG Whitaker told the chairman his 'five minutes is up, '" she reported.
Speaking on MSNBC shortly after the hearing, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said Whitaker's performance compared negatively to some of the most risky criminals he had interviewed in his career. They confronted Whitaker on his past criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller's work and his refusal to recuse himself from overseeing it, attacked him over his prior business dealings and sneeringly challenged his credentials as the country's chief law enforcement officer.
"At no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel investigation or any other investigation", Whitaker said in his opening remarks.
The Trump administration on Thursday moved its first chess piece in what is expected to be a contentious match between the White House and House Democrats as the latter seek documents and testimony for their oversight investigations of the president and his Cabinet.
Ahead of the hearing, four Democratic House committee chairmen accused Whitaker of not repaying over $9,000 in funds to a now-shuttered, "scam" patent company he was involved with so that the money can be returned to victims, an issue that Democrats are likely to raise on Friday.
The committee will debate a resolution to approve a subpoena on Thursday, Nadler said.
Many of the Democrats have reservations about Barr that hinge on how he will treat Mueller's investigation.
On November 7, President Donald Trump announced the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "You don't run the Congress of the United States, and you don't run the Judiciary Committee", Raskin snapped.
Later, he was scolded by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, when she asked if her time had been restored and Whitaker responded: "I don't know if your time's been restored or not". Trading Whitaker in for him will be one of the Trump presidency's rare blessings.