Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, the latest development in a day of drama between House Democrats and the Department of Justice.
Whitaker’s hearing is probably going to be a contentious affair. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have a lot of questions for Whitaker; the hearing on Friday was set to be the first high-profile oversight hearing into the Trump administration since Democrats retook the majority.
And things got complicated on Thursday, after the House Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena for Whitaker, which Chair Jerrold Nadler said he would use only if Whitaker refused to answer the committee’s questions.
But Whitaker fired back, saying through a letter from the Justice Department that he would not testify at all if the committee issued a subpoena. The DOJ demanded a response from Nadler, in writing, by 6 pm Thursday.
“I remain willing to appear to testify tomorrow, provided that the chairman assures me that the committee will not issue a subpoena today or tomorrow, and that the committee will engage in good faith negotiations before taking such a step down the road,” Whitaker said in a statement.
Nadler offered his brief response shortly before the 6 pm deadline, reassuring Whitaker that if he appeared before the committee, “then … there will be no need for the Committee to issue a subpoena on or before Friday.”
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