The acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, will appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday in what promises to be one of the first highest-grossing hearings with Democrats serving on committees.
His public appearance follows a fight with the committee's Democrats, who on Thursday voted to authorize a subpoena for his testimony, in case he decided not to appear.
Whitaker has been a controversial figure since President trumpDonald John Trump Overnight Defense: Gillibrand offers a bill for transgender troops to serve | The Pentagon ready to protect US personnel in Venezuela | Democrats relive the fight with Trump for Saudis Whitaker to declare publicly on Friday, the president of the Judiciary says the White House: Trump has not followed the diet and exercise plan "religiously" MORE First he called him to head the Justice Department after the dismissal of the Attorney General. Jeff sessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWhitaker will testify publicly on Friday, the president of the Judiciary says the Democrats are trying to defuse the standoff by Whitaker's subpoena. Trump's health official says the agency would never have supported family separations MORE. He has faced particular scrutiny as a result of his criticisms passed on to special advisers. Robert muellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: EE. UU Should applaud Mueller's election to lead the Russian investigation MOREThe investigation of Russia.
Whitaker, an ally of Trump, is expected to face questions about his oversight of Mueller's research and his interactions with the White House.
Nadler mallets in the audience
Judicial Branch President Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) Entered the audience shortly after Whitaker sat down.
Nadler began the audience by honoring the representative. John DingellJohn Dingell Hill Hill's morning report: legislators: we are closing an Obama agreement on the death of Dingell: he led "the accusation to a large extent of the progress we take for granted today". The Clintons pay homage to Dingell MORE (D-Mich.), The oldest member of Congress, who died on Thursday.
– Olivia Beavers
Whitaker says he will enforce executive privilege if asked about the Trump talks
In a copy of his initial comments, Whitaker says he plans to enforce executive privilege if lawmakers in the judicial panel seek to ask him about the conversations he has had with President Trump.
"I want to assure you that I will try to answer the Committee's questions today, as best I can, but I must also make it clear that I will continue with the long-standing policy and practice of the Executive Branch not to disclose information that may be subject to executives. "Privilege, as the content of the deliberations or conversations with the President," writes Whitaker.
The answer, although within their rights, is likely to frustrate the Democrats, who are eager to pressure Whitaker over whether he has informed the president about Mueller's investigation.
– Olivia Beavers
Whitaker says there will be "no change" in the administration of the Mueller probe
In his prepared opening, Whitaker tried to dispel questions about whether he had tried to inappropriately influence the special lawyer's investigation.
"There has been no change in the overall management of the Special Adviser's investigation," Whitaker wrote in his opening comments.
"I have and will continue to administer this investigation in a manner that is consistent with the regulations in effect," he said.
His comments struck the heart of what the Democrats plan to put pressure on the acting attorney general and his opening comments will probably not prevent a series of Democrats from raising the issue.
– Olivia Beavers