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Matthew Whitaker, acting attorney general, to testify before Congress on contacts with Trump, Cohen

January 23, 2019

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will face questions from House lawmakers next month about whether he discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe prior to succeeding ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year, according to one top Democrat.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, sent a letter Tuesday to Mr. Whitaker outlining a series of questions he will be asked at his February 8 hearing before the committee.

Among the information Democrats are seeking to glean from Mr. Whitaker is how much he was briefed on the Mueller probe and if he has provided that information to the White House.

Mr. Whitaker also will be asked if he consulted with anyone in the Trump administration over his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller and who in the Justice Department suggested recusal.

Several questions center on Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to several federal crimes last year. Those questions deal with whether President Trump lashed out at Mr. Whitaker after Cohen’s guilty plea.

Mr. Nadler said in the letter the committee “will not accept” any refusal to answer by Mr. Whitaker because the president may want to invoke his executive privileges in the future.

“Please take any steps that may be necessary for the White House to consider these communications and for the president to determine whether he will invoke executive privilege,” Mr. Nadler wrote.

Mr. Whitaker is set to become the first major Trump administration figure to testify before Congress since the Democrats took control of the House.

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