In a waste of a few hours, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker appeared on February 8, 2019, before the House Judiciary Committee. Bombastic, smart mouthed, condescending, Whitaker fought for the entire day when he was not guzzling almost a case of water.
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler issued a letter to Whitaker on Wednesday evening basically calling out Whitaker as being “full of Shitaker.”
Nadler wrote in part: “Although the Committee appreciates your decision to appear, Members on both sides of the aisle found many of your answers to be unsatisfactory, incomplete, or contradicted by other evidence. You repeatedly refused to offer clear responses regarding your communications with the White House, and you were inconsistent in your application of the Department’s policy related to the discussion of ongoing investigations.”
In a few days, after William Barr is confirmed by the Senate (the likelihood of that not happening is infinitesimal), Whitaker will no longer be part of the Attorney General’s office and may well not be a governmental employee. If he fails to clarify or respond to the Nadler letter, he likely will be subjected to a formal deposition, as Nadler makes abundantly clear.
On the same day that the Nadler letter was sent, “President” Donald “T-Rex” Trump and his Homeland Security team quietly pulled funding for protections of the 2020 elections from foreign interference. This move is troubling because while we don’t know the full extent yet of meddling in 2016, we know it existed to a large extent and may well have influenced who sits in the White House today.
To remove these protections and not fund it, after Donald Trump’s intelligence chiefs testified recently that the threat continues and is a valid and disturbing one, is a dangerous next step in a dangerous administration. We look forward to Nadler enforcing some disclosure upon Whitaker and threatening to ramp up the process should Whitaker not be forthcoming. And the Nadler committee might next investigate why it is that Trump and his administration are refusing to take knowledge of Russian (and other foreign actors) meddling seriously.