U.S. attorney general Matthew Whitaker on Sunday pressured acting U.S. attorney general Matthew Whitaker to specifically bring forward an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, vowing to ask him to testify early next year.
The house judiciary committee expects new chairman jerrod nadler to say Sunday that the committee plans to subpoena Whitaker to testify as the first witness next year.
“He should avoid himself. He’s hostile to the investigation, “nadler said on ABC news'” this week.” “His appointment is just part of Robert mueller’s attack on the investigation.”
In a letter to the justice department’s chief ethics officer, senate democratic leader chuck schumer, house democratic leader Nancy pelosi and other top Democrats, asked if the justice department’s ethics lawyers had advised Whitaker to recuse himself and asked for detailed information about any ethics guidance Whitaker had. To receive.
“Allowing opponents of the investigation to monitor it would seriously undermine public confidence in the justice department’s work on this vital matter,” the letter said.
Democrats have been increasingly alarmed since President Donald trump ordered attorney general Jeff sessions to resign last week and replaced him with sessions’ chief of staff, chief Whitaker.
Sessions’ ouster paved the way for Whitaker to succeed in overseeing mueller’s investigation into deputy attorney general rodero sinstein, who recused himself from the probe after Ross rosenstein appointed mueller in May 2017.
Before working at the justice department, Whitaker made several negative comments about the mueller investigation and its scope.
Whitaker was also a close friend of Sam clovis, trump’s 2016 campaign co-chairman, who has since become a witness in the mueller investigation.
“Mr. Whitaker’s relationship with Mr. Clovis, a grand jury witness in the special counsel’s investigation, and other disputes with Mr. Whitaker have raised additional concerns about his ability to independently and impartially oversee the investigation,” the letter said.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Whitaker’s oversight of the investigation when asked about it on ABC’s “this week.”
“The comments made by matt Whitaker as a private citizen on cable TV did not disqualify him for fairness and justice by overseeing the investigation.”
She added that trump is “100% behind matt Whitaker.”