Acting Attorney General Whitaker battles angry lawmakers at hearing

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Nadler went on to repeat his question, and Whitaker ultimately responded: "I have not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation". Jerry Nadler said he wanted to ask Whitaker if he helped orchestrate Sessions' departure.

Jordan later asked if there are any other memos the American public can expect, to which Whitaker could not say. "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".

"We require answers to these questions".

"I'm thinking maybe we just set up a popcorn machine in the back", said Rep. Doug Collins, the committee's top Republican.

The Republican ranking member went after Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) for grilling Whitaker about whether or not a previous organization he ran had received money from foreign donors, The Hill reported - which Whitaker later responded to saying he doesn't believe it did, adding "our main donor was a US entity".

Yet Democrats yielded no new information about the status of the Mueller invesetigation as Whitaker repeatedly refused to discuss conversations with the president or answer questions that he thought might reveal details.

Whitaker infuriated Democrats by not giving "yes" or "no" answers, referring them to other departments such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and at times challenging their questions. Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries later railed at Whitaker.

"But you wouldn't oversee a witch hunt, would you?" Whitaker was named acting attorney general by Trump from his position as Sessions' chief of staff, an unusual promotion.

According to CNN, former Trump associate Roger Stone was "one of the last key campaign associates" to be investigated.

Cohen said the inspector general of the General Services Administration - which manages government buildings - issued a "rather scathing report" about the government's decision to lease the Old Post Office, located on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, to the Trump Organization. "We have followed the special counsel's regulations to a T".

"I have no reason to believe he's not honest, so yes I do believe he's honest", Whitaker said.

"I am not kidding when I say I have interviewed terrorists who were more cooperative and respectful than Matt Whitaker was today", Figliuzzi told host Nicolle Wallace.

Whitaker vented frustration early on as he repeatedly insisted that he would not discuss his conversations with Trump and tried to shift attention to the conventional work of the Justice Department. Keep in mind, Whitaker was willing to appear without the subpoena.

Jordan and conservative Republicans have sought unsuccessfully to gain access to the mostly redacted three-page memo that lays out the parameters of the special counsel's investigation. Whitaker demanded to know the "basis" of the question.

Whitaker's time as acting attorney general is likely coming to an end soon, with the Senate expected to vote to confirm President Trump's attorney general nominee William Barr next week.

Trump critics and leftists mocked Whitaker as "unqualified and ignorant".

Emerging from an hours-long testimony with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, in which he offered wavering or unclear answers while stating he has not influenced the ongoing Russian Federation probe, Democrats showed frustration. Whitaker indicated he would not appear unless Nadler withdrew the subpoena. The committee and Justice Department eventually agreed he would voluntarily appear on February 8. On Thursday, Democrats on the committee marked up a subpoena for possible use to compel his cooperation.

But in another sign the hearing will be acrimonious, Democrats released a letter Friday morning asking Whitaker about his involvement in a company accused by regulators of scamming consumers out of millions of dollars, saying records indicate he failed to return money that would have been distributed to victims.

For his part, Collins called the daylong hearing a "dog and pony show".

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