Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
When Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, some of the most aggressive questioning came from Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). And when the Trump loyalist objected to his questions, Raskin responded by becoming even more confrontational.
Raskin delved into Whitaker’s activities prior to being appointed to his current temporary position by President Trump, who fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the 2018 midterms. The Maryland congressman noted that Whitaker’s “fascinating career” included having “owned a daycare center, a concrete supply business, trailer sales, GOP activist, U.S. attorney…. Senate candidate.”
Raskin, holding up a copy of an article that appeared in the Guardian, Raskin quickly added, “There have been some scandals too. Here’s one: Trump’s acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings. Veteran says, ‘I spent the money on a dream. I lost everything.’”
But the 56-year-old Maryland congressman was just getting started. Raskin added, “The newspapers say you struck gold when you arrived in Washington, which the president calls the swamp.”
That’s when Whitaker grew indignant, telling Raskin, “Congressman, you’ve mentioned a lot. You have challenged my character”—to which Raskin angrily responded, “No, no. I’m asking you a question. I control this time, Mr. Whitaker. If you want to ask the chairman for time of your own, you can do it. This is my time. Mr. Whitaker, you don’t run this committee! You don’t run the Congress of the United States, and you don’t run the Judiciary Committee.”
Whitaker’s time as acting attorney general will likely be coming to an end soon. Trump’s nominee for a permanent attorney general, Republican William Barr (who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s), could be confirmed by the full Senate as soon as next week.