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💦 Thread here on #WhitakerHearing
Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) gaveled in. Open statement focuses on how ethics officials recommended that he recuse from Mueller investigation. Calls their advice an act of bravery. Says Whitaker's decision to ignore that advice falls short.

Nadler continues by discussing Matthew Whitaker's job and media appearances from before he joined the administrations. Mentioned public criticism of the Mueller investigation. Asks why did President choose "outspoken critic of the special counsel" and not someone else?

Nadler poses a series of additional questions as to why Whitaker would ignore advice etc. Also says there's no need to subpoena his testimony "for now." He also said he did not receive written testimony until midnight. Discusses limits executive privilege.

While Nadler speaks, Whitaker looks confident. Nadler said "we have given you months to prepare." Said "we have nothing to hide from you or anyone else." Mentions ethics advice again. Emphasizing that Whitaker chose to ignore that advice.

Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) begins his remarks. Calls this hearing "a character assassination." Now he's talking about an Easter Egg hunt. "Pure political theater." While he speaks Whitaker has a smirk on his face. He smiled and nodded over and someone to his right.

Doug Collins is shouting. Complaining now about Nadler's Twitter account. Seems very angry that whomever managers the account attached an earlier letter. Shouting. Shouting. Shouting. I guess he has no questions to ask.

Collins is still shouting. "This is not a confirmation hearing. . . back to theatrics again. . . We want to damage the president." He keeps saying has questions about oversight. But he doesn't ask them.

Great idea "I'm thinking we should be setting up a popcorn machine."

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.

Collins made a motion to adjourn. By voice vote the motion failed. A roll call was demanded. They are waiting for the clerk to call the roll.

Talk about theatrics

All of the democrats voted "no", so as to allow the hearing to continue. The Republicans appear to be all voting "aye" or abstaining. So as to end the hearing.

Nays: 24
Ayes: 10

Motion to adjourn not approved.

Nadler is now introducing the witness Matthew Whitaker. He is being sworn in.

Said his written testimony be entered into the record in its entirety.

Whitaker begins with a thank you and acknowledges the passing of Rep. John Dingell. Then he thanks the employees of the DOJ. Discusses his role as an US Attorney for Southern District of Iowa & working for Jeff Sessions

Now says, "No one is more qualified than Bill Barr."

Whitaker talks about DOJ record in prosecuting violent crimes in 2017 & 2018. Said violent crime and homicide rates went down in 2017. Murder rate dropped. Said most crime is related to drug abuse and drug trafficking.

Said "vast majority of illegal drugs are coming through our Southern border." Talks about smuggling women and children into the United States. Talks about "illegal aliens" causing harm to innocent Americans due to our "porous" border.

Whitaker also discussed action on human trafficking. Again mentions the "southern porous border." Talks about "luring" victims across the border. (Note that he does not mention tape.)

He has moved on to election monitoring. Also said "I have done everything in my power to continue regular order" at the DOJ. Says decisions are made "independent of outside interference." Says he's not made any "promises or commitments" to White House or anyone.

Whitaker says he has complied with special counsel regulations. Said he's glad that he is there voluntarily.

Whitaker said "I will answer the committees questions as best I can." But he said he won't disclose anything that might be subj to exec privilige such as "contents of conversations with the President"

Questions commence. Each committee member has 5 minutes. Nadler begins.

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 refuses to answer Nadler's question as to how many times he was briefed on special counsel investigation. Nadler asked whether one occurred between Dec. 19 and Christmas Day

Nadler asked, "did you communicate any information you learned in that briefing to President Trump."

Whitaker flips through papers, takes off glasses. "I do not intend to talk about my private conversations. . .but I have not talked to the President of the United States about the special counsel investigation." And not to anyone in White House.

Nadler asks whether Whitaker has communicating about the investigation to third parties who might contact president or his counsel. Whitaker had trouble answering. In fairness, it was a vague question

Correction. Whitaker said he had not discussed the special counsel investigation with senior white house officials.

Nadler is now saying he wants to at a future proceeding depose Whitaker under oath. Nadler asked in your capacity as acting AG have you ever approved a request re action to be taken by the special counsel

Whitaker said, "I see that your five minutes are up." Laughter.

Clarification. Nadler asked have you been asked to approve or disapprove a request or action" to be taken by the special counsel?

Whitaker. "I have not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation". Says he has followed the special counsel investigation with a T.

Now it's Doug Collins' turn to ask questions.

"Were you aware of Roger Stone's indictment before it became public?"

Whitaker said "I was briefed on that."

Collins asked about CNN being camped out in front of Stone's house. Whitaker said he was very disturbed by that.

Whitaker said the indictment was published when it was unsealed. Then press notified.

"I share your concern with the possibility that a media outlet was tipped off" about Stone's indictment or arrest before it was made public.

Collins moved on to talk about Bruce Orr. When asked, Whitaker said he is still employed with DOJ.

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

Whitaker: "This is not a confirmation hearing. . .This is an oversight hearing for the department of Justice. . . We haven't talked about the . . .opioid crisis . . religious liberty. . . free speech on our college campuses. . the incredible work we have been doing."

Voting on the floor. So, committee in recess until that's done. Back soon.

Okay. While we are waiting for the hearing to start up again, take note that @Fahrenthold is about to drop some news on Individual-1's business

Let's talk about executive privilege while we wait. In his opening statement, Whitaker said, "I will continue the longstanding Executive Branch policy and practice of not disclosing information that MAY be subject to executive privilege". Wut?


Here @NatashaBertrand makes a good point about Whitaker's selective responsiveness.

We are back. It's 11:43 a.m. Rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is asking questions now. She's focused on a statement Whitaker made on January 28 concerning the Mueller investigation. "Right now the investigation is close to being completed." She wants basis for statement

Whitaker said "I don't have anything to add to what I said."

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.

Whitaker said that the AG will receive a confidential report covering the decisions. Said if and when he received the report, he "would review those decisions pursuant to that report."

He said the investigation is proceeding consistent with the regs and with Deputy Attorney General's appointment order

Lofgren pointed out that he is not evenly refusing to speak about ongoing investigations give that he spoke about the Stone indictment today

She asked him if he shared his private views about the special counsel investigation with President Trump, or Mr. Kelly (white house officials), the family, or surrogates like Rudy G.

Whitaker is not responding. Keeps saying "I am honored" to serve. He said he provided "no commitments." which is not responsive.

Nadler allowed her to ask question again and told witness to "stop filibustering."

Whitaker said he did not talk to anyone essntially in the president's circle or white house about special counsel investigation while he was a private citizen

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) is asking question now. Or really making statements. He is talking ,ore than 70,000 people who died here or drug overdoses in a single year, 2017, due to synthetic opioids.

That should say "more." Whitaker discussed efforts to address this problem.

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

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is setting the table about the Trump organizations being investigated. She is asking yes or no answers.

"May I have my time restored?"

Jackson Lee says his humor is not appropriate. "Did you have a confirmation hearing and have you not yet appeared for an oversight hearing."

"I have never appeared in front of Congress for any hearing."

"She asks, "you are denying the reports that" you shared information with Kelly while working for Sessions? He refused to answer.

Jackson Lee asks whether he has given an "extensive review" of the investigation. H said "I have been briefed." She asked whether hostile foreign entities is more severe than false allegations of voter fraud.

He said foreign interference and voter fraud are both "serious" concerns.

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

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is asking a Whitaker about the memo Rosenstein sent memo two plus months after the appointment order. A third-page memo from Rosenstein to Mueller are scope of investigation. Said in that memo (that almost no one has seen, most redacted).

Jordan asked whether there are "specific American names" under the redactions on the memo.

Whitaker: "We investigate crimes, not individuals." But, he said that memo props up a confidential investigation.

Steve Cohen (D-TN) is asking whether DOJ looked into violation of emoluments clause re Trump organization and hotel. Whitaker said he's aware of litigation surrounding clause. Subject of ongoing litigation. Asking why DOJ is representing the president, not personal lawyers?

Cohen noted that Whitaker said on television that investigating the president's finances was "crossing a red line." Cohen said what if Trump and family owed money to Putin, etc.

Whitaker said he made statement as private citizen.

Cohen said, is that still your opinion, would looking into his finances be crossing a "red line."

Whitaker said at the DOJ we follow the law and facts where they lead and do our jobs with fidelity.

Cohen "Would you say the special counsel's investigation is a witch hunt? Are you overseeing a witch hunt? You'd stop a witch hunt?"

Whitaker won't answer because it's ongoing investigation. He also said he has not denied special counsel any funds and has not interfered

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Mentions criticism that he has not followed advice of career officials.

Whitaker said Rod Rosenstein has more than 100 direct reports.

Gohmert is now criticizing Jeff Sessions, Sally Yates, and Barack Obama.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA: "You commented about the Roger Stone investigation which is ongoing."

Asking about failure to recuse himself from supervision of special counsel's investigation. Did he receive final guidance on that question on December 19.

Whitaker said "I had no conflict of interest." Not responding to Johnson.

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

Whitaker refuses to answer with Yes or No answer.

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

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX ). Says an oversight hearing is about "vision about the departments priorities." Scolding "other side of the aisle" for not asking questions about topics like gun violence. Even though he just said mentioned 6 hour hearing on gun violence this week

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): Do you believe the president was telling the truth that he did not know that you had been critical of the special counsel investigation.

He said he had no reason not to believe him.

To get job with Sessions, he interviewed with Sessions.

Did you talk about your CNN appearances with anyone at White House.
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

Deutch: Since becoming the AG, you said you've been briefed by special counsel. Did you do anything to make sure the White House might have learned at the briefings? He said no.

He asked how many people were in the briefing. He said "only one member of my staff" with him

Deutch is challenging the justification for appointing him under Vacancies Act instead of the succession set out in another statute.

"I believe the president chose me" because he had been a US Attorney and spent 13 months working for Sessions. "To continue momentum" to addressing priorities, "felt I was best positioned." Was kept informed about everything (other than what Sessions was recused from)

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Asked about and Whitaker confirmed the existence of the policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

Rep. Biggs: Read statement that Whitaker made in June 2017. that there was no evidence of coordination between Trump campaign and Russians. As we sit here today, has you opinion changed?

Whitaker won't answer or characterize the ongoing investigation

Biggs asked him whether the scope of the Mueller investigation has been expanded beyond what is set out in the May 17, 2017 order signed by Rosenstein

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) was trying to ask Whitaker a question about his activities prior to joining the DOJ. Recall this is the World Patent Marketing Company and he was or is still under FBI investigation. Rep. Collins is trying to prevent

See wsj.com/articles/fbi-i…

As a result, there needs to be a vote to allow this question to be posed. We are waiting for the voice vote. Then Rep. Bass will be allowed to proceed.

Actually, Bass is not asking about that. Instead asking about organization called FACT, which sought investigations into members of congress when he was an Executive Director. He said it was an independent non-partisan org. Said complaints vs Repubs

She asked about World Patent Marketing. He said he is recused.

Nadler announced a brief recess

While we wait, we have incoming Roger Stone news here

Important point here. Whitaker has drawn a line. As @rgoodlaw explains here. Did Whitaker ever say whether when he was Sessions' Chief of Staff (before he became AAG), did he speak with Trump or senior staff about the special coumsel investigation

We are back from the recess. Tom McClintock (R-CA) is asking about misconduct by Justice Department employees. Oh, here we go. Talking about Lois Lerner.

Whitaker: Said Sessions did a review of that matter before I was chief of staff.

McClintock is complaining about the pre-dawn raid of Roger Stone's home when he was arrested. Unhappy that CNN was filming. Said Stone was unarmed. Said this was a "political act" to terrorize people from working for Trump.

Whitaker said FBI makes arrest to ensure safety of FBI and defendant. Also said he cannot discuss those factors considered re Stone arrest in an open session of the commitee

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA): Said DOJ was created to protect civil rights. Whitaker was chief of staff in November 2017 during confirmation hearing.

"Do you have any African Americans in the top leadership at the Department of Justice?"

Whitaker: What is top leadership?

Richmond In Charlottesville were there "good people on both sides?" Mentioned tiki torches and chants. "Were some of them good people?"

Whitaker: No place in a civil society for hate, white nationalism

Richmond: Would you have a problem have a transgender person being a clerk or an agent in the field?

Whitaker: No

Richmond: You said voter fraud was a serious concern. How many cases have you initiated? What about North Carolina and voter suppression. Has DOJ opened an investigation.

Whitaker: I am very aware of what is happening in North Carolina

Richmond: We should be doing better with diversity in the department of justice. The DOJ should look like the country

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ): "I am very disappointed in this hearing. I ran for Congress to get things done." Said the hearing was "character assassination and harassment of our witness." She said she is "sad."

Called this "a blatant political show that doesn't help anything"

Lesko said "if the American people" were "watching this today" they "would be shaking their heads."

Fact check: I am not shaking my head. I'm typing and quite interested in this hearing.

Rep. Lesko is now talking about abortion.

Whitaker: "Every life is valuable. . . The members of this committee have a lot of power as to how we value life."

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-D): "Who are you. Where did you come from and how in the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice."

Jeffries said 34 individuals have been indicted and 3 corporate entities.

Whitaker: Said yes but most are Russian citizens

Jeffries: "Trump's best friend Roger Stone was just indicted" for lying to Congress in connection with Wikilieaks

Whitaker: Yes.

Jeffries is going down the list of those in Trump's inner circle who have been indicted or pleaded guilty Stone, Manafort, Fynn, Cohen, Papadopolous

Whitaker yeses all of these, but disputes Paadopolous' title

Jeffries: Do you still think the Mueller investigation is a "lynch mob"? as per a tweet from August 2017

"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

Jeffries. It's not a witch hunt, not a fishing expedition, not a lynch mob, it's a national security imperative.

"In your final week, keep your hands off the Mueller investigation."

Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA): Said drugs and crime are of top concern to his constituents. Let me check. Oh, he's from Virginia. I think you constituents have a lot on their mind right now. Well beyond border patrol stats you are citing.

Rep. Cicilline (D-RI) Asking for consent to place various articles into the record about Matthew Whitaker negative views about investigation

Cicilline asked who was in briefings with Whitaker.

Whitaker said Greg Scott.

Did the president lash out to you after Michael Cohen's guilty plea. I'm not asking what he tweeted. . . Answer the question yes or no.

Whitaker: No he did not.

Cicilline asked whether anyone did on his behalf

Whitaker: [Pause] No.

Did you share the questions from Nadler sent to you with anyone at White House?

Whitaker: No

Cicilline: How can you assert executive privilege if you have not even consulted with the White House.

Rep. Cicilline: Asked whether he has had conversation with president or legal team what he has learned about any investigations that involve the president?

Whitaker won't answer

Cicilline mentions professor @JohnQBarrett who had a conversation on an airplane with Whitaker

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA): Opens by complaining about Democratic members of the committee. Asks what Whitaker is doing to stop sanctuary cities.

Rep. Reschenthaler mentioned drug overdoses and asks about southern border.

Whitaker said that most of the non-prescription opiods come through southern border and also mentioned direct mail.

Whitaker: We need an act of Congress to schedule (meaning make illegal) new versions of these opiods

Rep. Eric Swalwell "Did your watch dog organization every receive donations from foreign donors."

Collins objects.

Collins (who complained about drama is bringing all of it) and snips and whines at @RepSwalwell something about him being down there "running for president."

Meanwhile, motion is tabled and Swalwell can answer question.

Whitaker said: Our main donor was he thought a US entity.

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

Swalwell asked whether there have been any discussions at DOJ about pardons for Manafort, Stone, Flynn and Cohen.

Whitaker did not say no, just that he had not been part of any pardon discussions

Whitaker: "Bob Mueller is going to finish his investigation when he wants to finish his investigation."

Swalwell said the president has called Mueller "conflicted." Do you think he's conflicted?

Whitaker: "I don't have any reason to believe that."

Swalwell: Can say right now Mueller is honest and not conflicted.

Whitaker: I am not here to be a puppet.

Swalwell: Can you say that to the president?

Discussion about funding the First Step program and pre-trial release

WOW. Look. @jedshug points out "Whitaker says the only person in the briefings on Special Counsel investigation was: US Atty for Eastern D. of CA Greg Scott, covering Fresno. Guess who Fresno's Congressman is?
@DevinNunes. What a coincidence.

Two minute recess announced

We are back. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) asked whether the US Constitution prohibits indicting president's campaign manager, chiidren?

Whitaker: "There is no sentence in the US Constitution that says the president's children cannot be indicted."

Lieu: There is no sentence in the US Constitution that says a sitting president cannot be indicted?

Whitaker: Won't answer. Keeps talking about the Office of Legal Counsel memo.

Lieu: Did you communicate to president or senior white house officials re SDNY cases?

Whitaker: I was very explicit in my opening statement. "SDNY would be included in "other investigations."

LIeu: Violent and property crime has gone down?

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."

Repl Jamie Raskin (D-MD): Talks about his past careers. How the business he advised scammed veteran out of life savings. Said his nonprofit paid him $1.2 million as leader of charity that had no other employees.

Whitaker: "You have challenged my character."

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.

Whitaker is getting very combative.

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.

Raskin: Do you know who the donor was?

Whitaker: Yes I do.

Raskin: The Donor's Trust

Whitaker: Says he has no idea who funds the Donor's Trust

Rep. Raskin: Sheldon Adelson who does not like online gambling (as it is competition for his brick and mortar casinos). Said Adelson wanted office of legal counsel to say that state lotteries were outlawed. Raskin said Whitaker took over Adelson got what he wanted

Whitaker said both Sessions and he were recused from that decision.

Raskin: Why did casino operators donate to his campaign several years after he lost the race for Senate

Rep. Pramilla Jayapa (D-WA) is asking questions now. She is discussing mothers, parents separated from their children. Instead of your department allowing them to seek asylum, established a zero-humanity policy.

Whitaker: There was no "family separation policy."

Rep. Jayapal: Asked whether he was aware of leaked draft memo that was created when he was chief of staff for AG Sessions. Did DOJ provide no advance notice to HHS and DHS?

Actually, I may have misheard that. Rep. Jayapal said the leaders of CBP and ICE and ORR said they were not aware of zero-tolerance policy before it was announced. She calls it the zero-humanity policy

Whitaker: We were not tracking (when a parent was separated from child)

Jayapal: "Do you know what kind of damage has been done to children across this country? Children who will never get to see their parents again? Do you understand the magnitude of that?

Whitaker: I appreciate your passion for this issue

Rep Jayapal: This is not about my passion. This is about the children's future

Rep. Val Demings (D-F): Says that Whitaker has "worked to make a mockery" of our criminal justice system.

Demings: Did you talk to President Trump at all about the SDNY case against Michael Cohen? . . . .Or anything about Michael Cohen? . Or conversations with anybody about firing or reassigning any US attorneys at the SDNY.

Whitaker: Refusing to answer

Rep. Demings: What was your opinion of the 115,000 people "who dedicate their life to public service."

Whitaker: "Most exceptional, hardworking people."

Demings: You don't agree with the president's characterization of them

Rep. Demings: Could you paint a picture of drugs flowing through the ports of entry?

Whitaker: I agree that a tremendous amount of drugs come through "our ports of entry on our Southern border"

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA): Asking about threats and attacks by white supremacist groups including on college campuses. Do you believe they pose threat

Whitaker: Yes, I do.

Rep Correa: Are enough resources being dedicated to stopping these home-grown terrorist attacks

Whitaker: Said spending is done "below his role" at FBI etc. Adequately addressing the threat.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA): You seem to be confused. This may appear to be a contact sport. But this is not a gridiron and I'm not going to let you run out the time.

Scanlon: When was your first working day as chief of staff?

Whitaker: Said. October 4, 2017 COS. Then Acting AG on Nov. 8, 2018

Scanlon: Asking about Voting Rights Act. Is most recent action filed by your department was Jan. 2017. Has DOJ reversed its position on three Voting Rights Act cases.

Whitaker: Said only in one case

Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX): Asks what leads him to believe the border region is "crime-ridden" when these cities are listed as areas where crime has gone down. "Why are you so insistent that this is a crime-ridden area."

Garcia asked about the zero-tolerance policy. "Could you tell us whether you were in the room where it happened, when . . the policy was hatched." Asked who was the brain-child?

Whitaker: He participated in discussions. It was General Sessions idea to implement.

Garcia: How many children are still separated from his parents. Can you give us any idea how many children have been torn away from arms of mothers.

Whitaker: "Those are not statistics that I am involved in." He said DHS and HHS know


NOTE: Whitaker treats indicted defendant Roger Stone with more care and concern than the thousands of children pulled away from their parents at the border.

They are "statistics" to him.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO): Asking a out cannabis research.

Weird, Whitaker seems more knowledgeable about cannabis research than children

Rep. Neguse: When did you first learn that Mr. Sessions would be fired?

Whitaker: Mr. Sessions sent in his resignation letter. But he learned November 7, 2018. . . he won't talk about private conversation with President.

Rep. Lucy McBath: Discussing voter suppression. Do you suspect there was any?

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 37 election monitors were sent out. He does not know "as I am sitting here" whether any were sent to Georgia. But "I wouldn't be surprised" if they were sent to Georgia.

Rep. Stanton (D-AZ): Will you commit to cooperating with IG investigations?

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."

Rep. Stanton: Does DOJ stand behind determination that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows government-funded adoption agency to discriminates against Jewish people.

Whitaker: Said he's sure the DOJ would support a sister agency

Rep. Dean (D-PA): How did you learn that you had the call?

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. Debbie Mucarsel-Powll (D-FL): Asked him if his 501(c)(3) had just 3 board members.

Whitaker: Yep.

Rep: Said did you file FEC complaints?

Whitaker: Many different types. [Eventually he said yes].

Rep. Mucarsel-Powell: Did you make the sole decision to file complaints? Did you file FEC complaints against any Republicans?

Whitaker: As I sit here I don't recall

Whitaker: "Plain reading of title VII does not extend to transgender."

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX): I've been waiting six hours to ask my questions. Asks him to show respect and answer questions with yes or no answers.

Whitaker: "With all due respect. . "

She cuts him off. Nadler says time belongs to her.

Rep. Escobar: Concerned about a dangerous and what she calls "illegal" policy to be rolled-out in her community that would send migrants to Mexico while they wait for asylum hearings. She asked whether they would have access to counsel in Mexico? Yes or No?

Whitaker: Said he cannot make any assurance as to what happens in a foreign country.

Escobar: Said attorneys had trouble getting into Mexico to represent asylum seekers

Rep Escobar: Is he aware of documents related to pardons of individuals?

Whitaker: Yes

Chair Nadler: Given that the law allows people to seek asylum, doesn't sending people to Mexico where they don't have access to legal help violate the Constitution?

Whitaker: Responded that they are allowed to be taken to a safe place in another country

Nadler is about to adjourn hearing, but reminds Whitaker of the questions he still has not answered. Worth listening again for that list. Told him his testimony "was at best inconsistent."

Plans to call him back for an interview.

Hearing adjourned 3:23 pm

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