Friday, 8 February 2019

US acting Attorney General says no Russia probe talks with Trump

 Matthew Whitaker the Acting US Attorney General  says he has not spoken with President Donald Trump or any senior White House officials about the US special counsel's probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

US acting Attorney General says no Russia probe talks with Trump

 "I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel's investigation," Whitaker told a US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing.

 He also added that he has not taken any action in the probe or interfered "in any way."

 "We have followed the special counsel regulations to a T," said Whitaker, a Trump appointee. 

"There has been no event...that has required me to take any action, and I have not interfered in any way" with Mueller's probe. 

 Democrats, who took control of the House last month and are increasing oversight of the Trump administration, want to shine a light on any actions Whitaker took regarding Mueller's probe, including possible communications with the White House and the firing of Jeff Sessions as attorney general in November. 

 Trump's decision to name Whitaker acting attorney general sparked controversy given that he now directly oversees Mueller's probe, which he has publicly criticized in the past. 

 Russia has denied any meddling in the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia and has called Mueller's investigation a witch hunt. 

 Whitaker on Friday repeatedly declined to answer questions about when and how many time he was briefed on Mueller's probe, prompting Nadler to threaten to call him back for a deposition.

 The hearing room erupted in gasps when Whitaker pushed back strongly against a question from Nadler about whether he had ever been asked to approve any action requested by Mueller. 

"Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up," Whitaker said curtly. 

 Earlier, Whitaker said he would invoke executive privilege in declining to discuss "the contents of deliberations or conversations with the president." 

In a political drama that enfolded on Thursday, Whitaker had threatened not to appear at the hearing after Democrats threatened to use a subpoena to compel him to answer certain questions. 

Later, Nadler agreed to drop the threat, paving the way for Whitaker's appearance before the panel.
https://www.evolutionalblogs.com/p/two-2-3-odds.html

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