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Former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker disclosed several key points related to Whitaker’s relationship with Donald Trump for the few months Whitaker served as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, according to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Whitaker, who served as attorney general for the period between Jeff Sessions’ ouster and the swearing in of William “Bill” Barr last month. Whitaker subsequently left the Justice Department.
The House Judiciary Committee called Whitaker back to provide testimony under oath about his brief tenure.
“One, unlike in the hearing room, Mr. Whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss Michael Cohen, the Michael Cohen case, and personnel decisions in the southern district,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
Cohen had been Trump’s personal attorney and “fixer” for more than a decade before he was caught up in Trump-related investigations, and ultimately convicted on felony charges and sentenced to three years in prison.
In the meantime, Cohen turned around and began cooperating with authorities and Congress. He recently completed several appearances before congressional committees before he has to report to prison.
“Two, while he was acting attorney general, Mr. Whitaker was directly involved in conversations about whether to fire one or more U.S. attorneys,” Nadler added.
“Three, while he was acting attorney general, Mr. Whitaker was involved in conversations about the scope of the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney [Geoffrey] Berman’s recusal, and whether the Southern District went too far in pursuing the campaign finance case in which the president was listed as Individual-1,” he added.