For someone who doesn't want theatrics he's the only one bringing the DRAMA.
Whitaker is smirking.
Collins is also confused. When the curtain drops down, the show is over.
Talk about theatrics
Motion to adjourn not approved.
Said his written testimony be entered into the record in its entirety.
Now says, "No one is more qualified than Bill Barr."
Asks Whitaker (given that he said so at press conference) whether he has been briefed on special counsel's investigation. Whitaker said yes. But not while he was working for Sessions.
Whitaker said, "I see that your five minutes are up." Laughter.
"Were you aware of Roger Stone's indictment before it became public?"
Whitaker said "I was briefed on that."
Whitaker said the indictment was published when it was unsealed. Then press notified.
Whitaker: Said the inspector general is looking into the "Carter Page FISA application." Said cannot talk about Orr b/c of that and b/c it could be a human resource matter
Lofgren: "We'd like to know what you meant." She also asked about another statement he made.
Whitaker said he'd refer her to special counsel regulations.
Nadler allowed her to ask question again and told witness to "stop filibustering."
Chabor asked about the southern border.
Whitaker smiled and said he had "less than a week" left in the role. I guess everyone is sure Barr will be confirmed
"May I have my time restored?"
"I have never appeared in front of Congress for any hearing."
He said he would have "mostly likely" reached out to the FBI if he had been offered dirt on an about by a foreign national, but that did not happen when he ran for office
Whitaker: "We investigate crimes, not individuals." But, he said that memo props up a confidential investigation.
Whitaker said he made statement as private citizen.
Whitaker said at the DOJ we follow the law and facts where they lead and do our jobs with fidelity.
Whitaker won't answer because it's ongoing investigation. He also said he has not denied special counsel any funds and has not interfered
Whitaker said Rod Rosenstein has more than 100 direct reports.
Gohmert is now criticizing Jeff Sessions, Sally Yates, and Barack Obama.
Asking about failure to recuse himself from supervision of special counsel's investigation. Did he receive final guidance on that question on December 19.
Nadler asked witness to answer the direct question.
Johnson: Didn't career officials at DOJ advise you to recuse to avoid appearance of conflict of interest and bias
Johnson: "Name me some names, Sir."
Steve Engel, Curtis Gannon, Brad Winesheimer who "said it was a close call." Said "out of an abundance of caution if asked" he'd recognize a specific course. Said the decision was mine
He said he had no reason not to believe him.
To get job with Sessions, he interviewed with Sessions.
From May of 2017 until October 2017 (when he joined DOJ), Whitaker said he did not talk to anyone at the White House about his view of the investigation.
Yet Deutch noted he did make 6 public statements
He asked how many people were in the briefing. He said "only one member of my staff" with him
Whitaker won't answer or characterize the ongoing investigation
Whitaker: Said Sessions did a review of that matter before I was chief of staff.
"Do you have any African Americans in the top leadership at the Department of Justice?"
Whitaker: What is top leadership?
Whitaker: No place in a civil society for hate, white nationalism
Whitaker: I am very aware of what is happening in North Carolina
Called this "a blatant political show that doesn't help anything"
Fact check: I am not shaking my head. I'm typing and quite interested in this hearing.
Whitaker: "Every life is valuable. . . The members of this committee have a lot of power as to how we value life."
Jeffries said 34 individuals have been indicted and 3 corporate entities.
Whitaker: Said yes but most are Russian citizens
Whitaker yeses all of these, but disputes Paadopolous' title
"One by one all of the president's men are going down in flames. . .a lot of smoke emanating from Pennsylvania Avenue" yet you decided not to recuse
"In your final week, keep your hands off the Mueller investigation."
Whitaker said Greg Scott.
Whitaker: No he did not.
Cicilline asked whether anyone did on his behalf
Whitaker: [Pause] No.
Cicilline: How can you assert executive privilege if you have not even consulted with the White House.
Whitaker won't answer
Whitaker said that most of the non-prescription opiods come through southern border and also mentioned direct mail.
Meanwhile, motion is tabled and Swalwell can answer question.
Swalwell asked whether he discussed nvestigation when Whitaker spoke to Don McGahn's chief of staff when he was interviewing for a position to respond to investigation. The position Ty Cobb took.
Whitaker said no
Whitaker did not say no, just that he had not been part of any pardon discussions
Whitaker: "I don't have any reason to believe that."
Whitaker: I am not here to be a puppet.
Swalwell: Can you say that to the president?
Whitaker: "There is no sentence in the US Constitution that says the president's children cannot be indicted."
Whitaker: Won't answer. Keeps talking about the Office of Legal Counsel memo.
Whitaker: I was very explicit in my opening statement. "SDNY would be included in "other investigations."
Whitaker: All crime is down
Lieu: Are border crossings at a 45 year low?
Whitaker: Not answering. Instead said we "saw a dramatic surge in family units."
Raskin: You don't run this committee. . .what was the title of the not-for-profit you ran.
Whitaker: It was called the foundation for accountability and civic trust.
Raskin: "Tell us where the money came from that you were paid? The $1.2 million."
Collins: Another point of order, wants to stop this line of questioning.
Here we go again. Another vote for a motion to table.
Whitaker: Yes I do.
Raskin: The Donor's Trust
Whitaker: Says he has no idea who funds the Donor's Trust
Raskin: Why did casino operators donate to his campaign several years after he lost the race for Senate
Whitaker: There was no "family separation policy."
Whitaker: We were not tracking (when a parent was separated from child)
Rep Jayapal: This is not about my passion. This is about the children's future
Whitaker: Refusing to answer
Whitaker: "Most exceptional, hardworking people."
Demings: You don't agree with the president's characterization of them
Whitaker: I agree that a tremendous amount of drugs come through "our ports of entry on our Southern border"
Whitaker: Yes, I do.
Whitaker: Said spending is done "below his role" at FBI etc. Adequately addressing the threat.
Whitaker: Said. October 4, 2017 COS. Then Acting AG on Nov. 8, 2018
Whitaker: Said only in one case
Whitaker: He participated in discussions. It was General Sessions idea to implement.
Whitaker: "Those are not statistics that I am involved in." He said DHS and HHS know
ME: CHILDREN ARE NOT STATISTICS
They are "statistics" to him.
Weird, Whitaker seems more knowledgeable about cannabis research than children
Whitaker: Mr. Sessions sent in his resignation letter. But he learned November 7, 2018. . . he won't talk about private conversation with President.
Whitaker: DOJ committed to protecting voting rights for all Americans.
"I sit atop a massive organization." That's done by US Attys and FBI agents in the district
Whitaker: Said he would
Stanton: Impact of shutdown on DOJ. Was it devastating on ability of department to do its work.
Whitaker: The shutdown was a "difficult time."
Whitaker: Said he's sure the DOJ would support a sister agency
Whitaker: He had phone call with the president then the tweet. Not sure of the order of things. "It was not a substantive phone call."
Me: HMMMMMMM. No substance
Dean: When did you next meet with the president?
Rep: Said did you file FEC complaints?
Whitaker: Many different types. [Eventually he said yes].
Whitaker: As I sit here I don't recall
Whitaker: "With all due respect. . "
She cuts him off. Nadler says time belongs to her.
Escobar: Said attorneys had trouble getting into Mexico to represent asylum seekers
Whitaker: Responded that they are allowed to be taken to a safe place in another country
Plans to call him back for an interview.
Hearing adjourned 3:23 pm