House Judiciary chairman invites Whitaker to clarify testimony

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday invited acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to meet with the House panel in the coming days to "clarify" answers he gave during testimony last week.

In a letter to Whitaker, Nadler said lawmakers from both parties felt that Whitaker gave answers to the committee that were "unsatisfactory, incomplete, or contradicted."

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"You repeatedly refused to offer clear responses regarding your communications with the White House, and you were inconsistent in your application of the Department’s policy related to the discussion of ongoing investigations," Nadler added.

Whitaker testified before the Judiciary Committee on Feb. 8, tussling with committee Democrats.

Nadler pointed to Whitaker’s responses to questions regarding whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE or his associates reached out to Whitaker to express frustration after Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. 

Whitaker testified during the hearing that Trump did not "lash out" at him after Cohen's plea, and declined to answer another question about whether he discussed Cohen's case with Trump.

CNN reported in December that Trump fumed to Whitaker following Cohen's plea.

Nadler also referenced Whitaker’s answers to questions about whether he discussed his opinions regarding special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE's investigation with the White House prior to being hired at the Department of Justice in 2017.

Whitaker said during his testimony that he spoke with White House officials while interviewing for former White House lawyer Ty Cobb’s position. Whitaker denied discussing his opinions of the Mueller investigation during that process.

“They did not want to talk about the investigation because the folks were dealing with that investigation and that’s why they wanted to bring in someone that had been unrelated to the investigation and the campaign,” he said at the time.

Nadler said in his letter that he is seeking clarification to that answer.

“These are by no means the only areas in which we hope you can elaborate on your testimony," Nadler added. "We continue to seek answers about what may be improper communications you appear to have had with the White House about several ongoing criminal investigations. You left us with questions on several policy matters as well."

Nadler stated that he expected Whitaker to provide responses to any unanswered questions just before he gaveled out of Whitaker's hearing last week. The chairman also said he intended to bring back Whitaker for an interview on such matters.

Whitaker is expected to be replaced by William Barr, who is poised to win Senate confirmation later this week.