Acting AG Whitaker meets with prosecutors in El Chapo trial

Acting AG Whitaker meets with prosecutors in El Chapo trial
© Youtube screenshot

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Monday made an appearance at a New York City courthouse where jurors have started to deliberate in the case of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Whitaker was in New York City and dropped by the courtroom "to express his support and appreciation for the El Chapo prosecution team in Brooklyn," according to a Justice Department spokesperson. 

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Jurors started deliberations on Monday after nearly three months of testimony in Guzman's case. The proceedings included witnesses detailing the drug lord's rise to power in the Sinaloa cartel, and his role in the group's smuggling operations.

A close associated of Guzman's testified late last year that the drug lord authorizied a $100 million bribe for former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Guzman, 61, faces life in prison if convicted.

Whitaker has served as attorney general in an acting capacity since November, when President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE fired Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war McCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' MORE. Democrats have criticized Whitaker's qualifications for the role.

The president has tapped former Attorney General William Barr as his full-time pick to replacement Sessions. Barr is awaiting a confirmation vote in the Senate.