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Sunday, February 10, 2019

VIDEO: David Cicilline nails Trump guy “acting” as Attorney General

Walter Einenkel  Daily Kos Staff

To watch this video on YouTube:

All you really need to know about Donald Trump’s choice for acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is that Trump felt Jeff Sessions wasn’t corrupt enough to continue in the position.

Whitaker has been a hostile witness in front of the House Committee on Friday, acting both condescending and ornery at any and all questions sent his way by House Democrats. 

Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) can talk fast and doesn’t suffer bullies lightly, and his intense questioning of Whitaker was a master class in fighting fire with fire.

Rep. Cicilline opened by negating the almost sociopathic evasive answer pattern Whitaker has employed during Friday’s hearings—thanking and appreciating every single question before not answering any single question.

Rep. Cicilline: Mr. Whitaker, I will be straight. I will cut you off if you make long speeches. You do not need to thank me for asking, or complementing me. I assume that they're all great questions and you're grateful.


Rep. Cicilline: One, you were briefed by special counsel, did you share that information with members of staff, the information you learned in the briefing from the special counsel or his team?
Whitaker uses this moment to remind Rep. Cicilline that he isn’t answering any questions about Donald Trump because he’s not actually answering any questions.

Cicilline begins to fire questions at Whitaker who does his best to slowly and monosyllabically evade them, realizing that he’s probably perjuring himself—but then again, what person in the Trump administration hasn’t perjured themselves?

When it becomes clear that Whitaker isn’t going to be particularly illuminating in his answers, Rep. Cicilline decides to give him a dose of what it feels like to be disrespected by someone, as he just begins cutting him off after a word or two, knowing it’s a load of hot orange air coming out of Whitaker’s mouth.

Rep. Cicilline: You would not answer questions about conversations with the president, did you not?

Whitaker: Yes, I did.

Rep. Cicilline: So you are not sitting here today saying the president has instructed you to answer questions, correct?

Whitaker: I'm not sitting here --

Rep. Cicilline:--You're prepared to answer all of the questions?

Whitaker: Congressman, I was pretty --

Rep. Cicilline:--Have you spoken to the president, Mr. Whitaker about the Mueller investigation?

Whitaker: Congressman, as I have previously testified, I did not talk to the president about the Mueller investigation.

Rep. Cicilline: Have you ever spoken to the president or member—or parts of his legal team—about information that you've learned in your capacity as acting attorney general related to the Mueller investigation or any other criminal investigation involving the president?

Whitaker: Congressman, while I have specifically been saying that I'm not going to comment about my conversations with the President or his senior staff. I have also been very clear that the president has not instructed me to do anything. 

Rep. Cicilline: That wasn't my question. My question is have you had conversations about what you learned. That's a yes or no.

Whittaker: Congressman, I have, I spend all day every day—

Rep. Cicilline: --Mr. Whitaker, my question is very specific: have you spoken to the President or his legal team about what you've learned in the Mueller investigation or were the related criminal investigation that may involve the president, yes or no?

Whitaker can’t and won’t answer this question because, well, he probably thinks this will keep him out of jail or at least on the mythical Trump-pardon list that Trump probably has scrawled on a napkin somewhere.

Rep. Cicilline finishes by reading off a series of statements surrounding Matthew Whitaker’s alleged statements to St. John’s Law professor John Q. Barrett that he was going to try and get “noticed” by Trump, with his amazing ideas about how president Trump should be left alone by the Mueller investigation.

Rep. Cicilline finishes by laying it all on the table:

Rep. Cicilline: You said all those things and they're all in print. And it answers Mr. Deutch’s (D-FL) question. The American people wondered just how is it that Mr. Whittaker becomes the acting Attorney General of the United States, in violation of existing statutes. Was he put there for a particular purpose. That wasn't a question.