The incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, California’s Adam Schiff, criticized the acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker’s lack of transparency regarding the Mueller probe.
Democrats and observers raised serious concerns over Donald Trump’s appointment of Whitaker as acting attorney general of the Justice Department due to his public calls for an end to the Mueller investigation.
The Hill reported that Whitaker has told colleagues in the Justice Department that he will not cut Mueller’s budget. Robert Mueller also told a court last week that Whitaker’s appointment has had “no effect” on his investigation on Russian interference.
However, this has not lifted Schiff’s concerns. The Democrat told CNN, “fact of the matter is he’s not telegraphing what he’s doing”. Schiff added that Whitaker has not communicated to Congress exactly what his plans are for the investigation.
“I don’t know what steps he has taken, whether he is merely getting briefed now and deliberating on whether he will allow Mueller to subpoena the president or whether he will allow Mueller to look into this issue or giving Mueller a time when he needs to wrap up his investigation”, he added.
Schiff made it clear that Democrats would not rest until they were in possession of all the facts. “We are going to bring Whitaker before the Congress, assuming he’s still in his position at the time when Democrats take over”, the representative for California’s 28th congressional district added, concluding, “we may bring him in whether he’s in that position or not, to find out the answers to these questions”.
Schiff is not the only Democrat with aspirations of having Whitaker appear before Congress. Jerry Nadler, the Democrat representing New York’s 10th congressional district who is expected to lead the House Judiciary Committee, previously told CNN that Whitaker would be his “very first witness”.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.