Matthew Whitaker didn’t realize just what he was stepping into when he took on the acting Attorney General position for Donald Trump. Until now, he’s stayed out of everyone’s way and has done pretty much nothing, which has been great for the Trump-Russia probe.
However, this week has brought him more attention then he even thought possible, and the last attention he would ever want.
The House Judiciary Committee has just announced that Matthew Whitaker is their first investigative target. Whitaker has unsuccessfully tried to stay off the radar and hide behind the Department of Justice while using the government shut down to avoid testifying.
“In a letter to the DOJ on Wednesday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler identified Jan. 29 as the last day the panel could hear from Whitaker, a critic of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation who has refused to recuse himself from overseeing the probe”, Politico reports.
“We are willing to work with you to identify a mutually identifiable date for your testimony,” Nadler wrote, “but we will not allow this date to slip past January 29, 2019 … As you know, it has been nearly 15 months since Attorney General Sessions testified before the committee. It is past time for the committee to conduct oversight.”
If Whitaker doesn’t show up, he is at risk of being subpoenaed by Democrats. Then, if he doesn’t show up for a Congressional subpoena, he would be held in contempt and ultimately arrested. He will have no choice but to testify and answer questions in a televised interview. It’s being anticipated that he may confess to obstruction crimes that he’s witnessed Trump committing, as well as for himself.
The Judiciary Committee doesn’t bring criminal charges based on testimony alone, but it can make a criminal referral to ensure that Whitaker has to answer for his potential crimes and Trump’s. Whitaker could resign and cooperate with the Dems in order to gain leniency, but time is running out for that. Whitaker has to give answers for his part in this circus and the House Dems are ready to make that happen.