On January 8, as Vox reported, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee and some important issues were discussed.
Notably, Whitaker discussed his role in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and possible coordination between official Moscow and the Trump campaign. Whitaker, who was appointed following the ousting of Jeff Sessions, testified under oath that he did not, in any way, interfere with Mueller’s investigation.
Whitaker also said that he did not talk with the White House about Mueller’s investigation, but refused to discuss his private conversations with President Donald Trump. The acting attorney general also defended his decision to not recuse himself from overseeing Mueller’s probe.
But, as Vox notes, heated, fiery exchanges and partisan bickering marked the testimony.
House Democrats’ behavior was too much for President Trump as well, who blasted “vicious” Democrats for their conduct in a tweet. “The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see,” Trump wrote before claiming that the Republicans “never acted with such hatred and scorn” when they had the majority.
But not everyone saw the Whitaker hearing that way. Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, viciously criticized the acting attorney general’s behavior, comparing him to a terrorist, Newsweek reports.
“I’m not kidding when I say I have interviewed terrorists who are more cooperative and respectful than Matt Whitaker was today.”
“I gotta tell you, I say that with sadness, because the attorney general role is America’s lawyer,” Figliuzzi added.
According to the former FBI official, Matt Whitaker sees himself as President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and not as America’s attorney.
“This is basically thumbing your nose at oversight by the people. And the way he conducted himself today is an indication that he is not America’s attorney. He is essentially seeing himself as Trump’s attorney,” Figliuzzi said.
"We are all just shocked." https://t.co/CBZauOQ7mf
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) February 9, 2019
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, President Donald Trump’s decision to hire Matthew Whitaker as attorney general came under intense scrutiny since Whitaker is a known Trump loyalist. The acting attorney general has publicly criticized Robert Mueller’s probe on several occasions, arguing that its scope needs to be limited.
Donald Trump has repeatedly described Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt,” alleging partisan bias.
But, according to media reports, the relationship between the president and his attorney general deteriorated with time. Trump reportedly lashed out at Whitaker for letting prosecutors file charges against his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. The charges, the president reportedly said, made him “look bad,” which is why he allegedly exploded at his soon to be former acting attorney general.