In an interview broadcast late Friday, former senior FBI official Chuck Rosenberg described acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee as “disgraceful,” the Hill reports.
An experienced government official who served in the Bush administration and under former FBI Director James Comey, Rosenberg explained that even though hearing questions are sometimes tough, they have to be answered respectfully and in a civil manner. Whitaker, according to Rosenberg, did not do that.
“I’ve testified many times in Congress,” the former FBI official said.
“Sometimes the questions are good and thoughtful, sometimes they’re compound and incomprehensible, but you have to answer every one with a degree of civility and dignity, and that was sorely lacking.”
According to the Hill, Rosenberg’s comments come as no surprise given that he has emerged as a staunch critic of President Trump and his administration’s policies. Rosenberg often appears on cable news shows to criticize and call out Donald Trump for what he believes is a mistreatment of the Department of Justice.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, throughout the hearing Whitaker appeared confrontational, exchanging blows with House Democrats. The main topics of Whitaker’s discussion with the House Judiciary Committee members were Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and the acting attorney general’s relationship with President Donald Trump.
Whitaker testified under oath that he did not, in any way, interfere with Mueller’s probe. He also said that he did not discuss it with the White House, but refused to talk about private conversations with Donald Trump. A known critic of the Special Counsel’s probe, Whitaker also defended his decision to not recuse himself.
As the Hill notes, the acting attorney general was particularly confrontational with Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, attacking the Democrat for grilling him and suggesting that his time for questioning had run out.
“Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” Whitaker said.
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) February 9, 2019
Many have since criticized Whitaker’s behavior. Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, went as far as comparing Whitaker to a terrorist. “I have interviewed terrorists who are more cooperative and respectful than Matt Whitaker was today,” he said.
Throughout a contentious oversight hearing, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker seemed to be auditioning for his next job in the Trump administration, writes @natashabertrand: https://t.co/ejP4E0sXDk
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) February 10, 2019
President Donald Trump, however, criticized House Democrats’ conduct. In a Twitter message posted after Whitaker’s hearing, Trump accused the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee of acting with “hatred and scorn,” comparing them to Republicans who, he said, never behaved in such a way when they had the majority.
“The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!” Trump wrote.