Acting attorney general overseeing Mueller probe says he's not interfered

Whitaker Confirmed to Appear Before Panel as Scheduled

Whitaker eventually answered, "We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a T. There has been no event, no decision that has required me to take any action".

It was a mixed result in one of the first investigative hearings since Democrats won control of the House with a pledge to pursue oversight that Trump has called "presidential harassment".

Whitaker also made clear he will not cooperate with the Committee.

"It's becoming a show", said Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, who accused his Democratic colleagues of "character assassination". He is the person "ultimately in charge of the investigation", yet insisted he has not interfered in any way with it.

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".

The House Judiciary Committee was severely stacked against Mr. Whitaker with 25 Democrats and only 10 Republicans.

Still, in the mind of the president, whose nominee William Barr is set to soon replace Whitaker, there was only one side that was in the wrong during the hearing.

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

Whitaker refused to come before the House Judiciary until its Chair, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, announced he would serve Whitaker a subpoena if he didn't willingly testify.

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Whitaker said he can't talk about ongoing investigations, but that yes, he has been briefed on them.

"We all should show real passion and a real commitment to fixing what was done to these families and these children", she added.

Whitaker also denied media reports that Trump lashed out at him after learning his former lawyer and personal fixer Michael Cohen was pleading guilty for lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. "The rules are that you are here, and I need to ask the question and I need to have my time restored so that you can behave appropriately".

"Before we adjourn, I want to note for the record, Mr. Whitaker, you owe us responses on a number of issues raised here today", said Nadler, who then rattled off several of the questions. Whitaker was an outspoken critic of the investigation before arriving at the Justice Department in 2017.

"The time for this administration to postpone accountability is over", Nadler said.

There was tension on Capitol Hill Friday, when acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker testified before the house Judiciary Committee. The president has also said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

(Nota bene: Whitaker was under oath.) My observations are in the chronological order that Whitaker said them.

Nadler said the hearing was crucial for lawmakers to get answers to questions about Whitaker's role at the Department of Justice and his appointment.

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