It is significant if President Donald Trump spoke with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker in late 2018 about the investigation into his former attorney Michael Cohen because it could implicate a "grave abuse of power," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Thursday.
"Remember that Jeff Sessions was fired as attorney general for one reason only, he recused himself from involvement in the Russia investigation," the New York Democrat told CNN's "New Day."
"[Trump] said he wanted an attorney general who would personally protect him from the investigation. Then he appoints Whitaker who had no visible qualifications for the job at that level except that he had commented very negatively on Mueller investigation."
On Wednesday, Nadler told reporters after his committee questioned Whitaker for two hours behind closed doors that the former acting attorney general "did not deny" that Trump called him to talk about the Cohen case.
"He evaded a lot of questions," said Nadler. "He was only there for a few months; he was involved in discussions about firing U.S. Attorneys, about the scope of the recusal by the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Our question is why was he doing these things? Why was he interested in that? Was the president talking to him?"
If Whitaker was implicated, it would mean a "grave" abuse of power and obstruction of justice, said Nadler.
"We don't have the answers at this point," said Nadler. "We got some answers yesterday, namely that Whitaker refused to deny when presented the opportunity to do so."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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