Read the Questions House Democrats Will Ask Matthew Whitaker

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on February 8th.

Committee Chair Jerry Nadler has sent Whitaker a list of questions in advance.

In his letter, Rep. Nadler makes clear that he expects “direct answers” and if Whitaker intends on invoking Executive privilege, he should be notified in advance. Previously, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions would not answer questions under Executive privilege even if President Trump did not invoke that power.

“The committee will not accept your declining to answer any question on the theory that the President may want to invoke his privileges in the future,” Nadler wrote.

The questions are below as well as the letter sent by Rep. Nadler.

  • President Trump fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions November 7, 2018.  On or before that date, did you have any communication with any White House official, including but not limited to President Trump, about the possibility of your appointment as Acting Attorney General?  If so, when and with whom?  Did any of those communications discuss the possibility of your recusal from oversight of the Special Counsel’s investigation?
  • You announced your decision not to recuse yourself from the Special Counsel’s investigation on December 19, 2018.  Did you consult with the White House about that decision, before or after it was announced?  If so, with whom? 
  • My understanding is that you consulted with a four-person team of advisors for guidance on the question of your recusal.  Who are these four individuals?  Did any of them consult with the White House about your decision not recuse yourself from the Special Counsel’s investigation?
  • Have you ever received a briefing on the status of the Special Counsel’s investigation? If so, have you communicated any information you learned in that briefing to any White House official, including but not limited to President Trump, or any member of President Trump’s private legal team? 
  • It has been reported that President Trump “lashed out” at you on at least two occasions: after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on November 29, 2018, and after federal prosecutors identified President Trump as “Individual 1” in a court filing on December 8, 2018.
  • Did President Trump contact you after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty? What did he say?  Did you take any action as a result of that conversation?
  • Did President Trump contact you after he was identified as “Individual 1” in documents related to the criminal sentencing of Michael Cohen?  What did he say?  Did you take any action as a result of that conversation?
  • In any of these conversations, did President Trump express concern, anger, or similar frustration with the actions of the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York?
  • In any of these conversations, did President Trump discuss the possibility of firing or reassigning certain personnel who work for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York?
  • In any of these conversations, did the President discuss the recusal of Geoffrey Berman, the current U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from the Michael Cohen case and other matters related to the work of the Special Counsel?
  • Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions tasked John Huber, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, with reviewing a wide range of issues related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Have you ever received a briefing on the status of Mr. Huber’s work?  If so, have you communicated any information you learned in such a briefing to any White House official, including but not limited to President Trump, or any member of President Trump’s private legal team? 
  • On January 17, 2018, BuzzFeed News reported that federal prosecutors have evidence, in the form of witness interviews and internal communications, suggesting that President Trump had directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

  • On January 18, the Special Counsel issued a rare statement describing some aspects of the BuzzFeed story as inaccurate.  Did you have any communication with the White House about the BuzzFeed report or the decision of the Special Counsel’s office to issue its subsequent statement?  If so, with whom?  What was discussed?

Below is the letter sent from Rep. Nadler to Acting AG Whitaker.

Letter to Acting AG Whitake… by on Scribd


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Alexander Hernandez
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