On Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler publicly informed Matt Whitaker that the committee had found proof that Whitaker had lied about his communications with Donald Trump. Nadler demanded that Whitaker come back and tell the truth. The clear implication: we have you nailed on felony perjury, and you can sell Trump out, or you can go to prison.
Tellingly, the next day, the Donald Trump regime announced that Whitaker – whose time as Acting Attorney General was ending – had been given a pointless new job at the Department of Justice. Trump was clearly attempting to keep Whitaker in the fold, and prevent him from cutting any sort of plea deal. But just because Whitaker (apparently) accepted the job, it doesn’t mean he’s still playing for Team Trump at his own expense.
By now we would have expected Matt Whitaker to publicly respond to the House Judiciary Committee, if only to tell them to buzz off. Yet Whitaker has publicly said nothing. It’s been four days, so one would think that if Whitaker were simply ignoring the committee’s demand letter, we’d have seen Nadler making even more noise about it. Yet Nadler has also been silent. So what’s going on here?
It’s possible Matt Whitaker has responded to the committee privately. If so, that would suggest he’s looking to cooperate and maybe save his own butt, and he’s doing it privately because he doesn’t want Donald trump to find out. It’s also possible Whitaker is indeed ignoring the letter, and Nadler is silently preparing to drop the legal hammer on him instead of merely responding with words. We don’t know what’s going on here, and that’s the odd part. Considering what’s at stake here – Whitaker could end up arrested over this – the eerie silence is speaking rather loudly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report