Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker testified Friday that he has not talked to President Trump about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and has “not interfered in any way” with the probe.
“I want to be very specific about this, Mr. Chairman, because I think it’s going to allay a lot of fears that have existed among this committee, among the legislative branch largely, and maybe amongst some American people,” Whitaker told Chairman Jerry Nadler in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. “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, and I have not interfered in any way with the special counsel’s investigation.”
Nadler, a New York Democrat, also asked whether Whitaker had “ever been asked to approve any action or request to be taken by the special counsel” during his tenure as acting attorney general.
“Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” Whitaker replied as the room erupted in laughter.
The Committee’s ranking Republican, Doug Collins of Georgia, called the hearing — scheduled ostensibly as part of the Committee’s oversight of the DOJ — “pure political theater,” a “character assassination,” and a “dog-and-pony show.”