Politics: House Judiciary Committee hiring two new outside counsels - PressFrom - US

PoliticsHouse Judiciary Committee hiring two new outside counsels

19:50  12 february  2019
19:50  12 february  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

House Judiciary approves just-in-case subpoena for Matthew Whitaker

House Judiciary approves just-in-case subpoena for Matthew Whitaker The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to have a subpoena prepped and ready to go for acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's hearing Friday. Republicans expressed concern about what precedent a prepackaged subpoena might set for future witnesses, but Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said at a markup Thursday the subpoena will only be used if Whitaker "refuses to answer legitimate questions," including those on his conversations with President Trump regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary , also called the House Judiciary Committee , is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives.

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House Judiciary Committee hiring two new outside counsels© Alex Wong House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee is building out its legal team with an eye toward an aggressive oversight agenda, tasking new outside attorneys with a review of issues that could be at the heart of an impeachment case against President Trump.

The Democratic-led panel on Tuesday received approval to hire two "special oversight counsels" — Norm Eisen, a former ethics official in the Obama administration, and Barry Berke, a New York-based criminal defense attorney.

Whitaker Says He Won't Testify Unless Subpoena Threat Is Lifted

Whitaker Says He Won't Testify Unless Subpoena Threat Is Lifted Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he won’t testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday unless Democrats lift a threat to subpoena him if he refuses to answer some of their questions. Hours after the panel voted Thursday to authorize a subpoena, Whitaker issued a statement saying “it is apparent that the committee’s true intention is not to discuss the great work of the Department of Justice, but to create a public spectacle. Political theater is not the purpose of an oversight hearing, and I will not allow that to be the case.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Tuesday night that panel Republicans have hired outside counsel Rachel Mitchell "I've taken this additional step to have questions asked by expert staff counsel to establish the most fair and respectful treatment of the witnesses possible."

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Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the two would will "consult on oversight matters related to the Department of Justice, including the Department's review of Special Counsel Mueller's investigation, and other oversight and policy issues within the Committee's jurisdiction."

"The House Judiciary Committee is determined to ask critical questions, gather all the information, judiciously assess the evidence, and make sure that the facts are not hidden from the American people," Nadler said in a statement. "I am glad to have such valuable resources available to help us ensure that this Administration is held accountable to our laws and to the American public."

Committee officials stress that the new hires should not be seen as the precursor to impeachment. But the very issues they will be focused on — abuses of power, the rule of law and obstruction of justice — could well produce threads that lawmakers could use to lay the groundwork for that.

Judiciary Dem asks Whitaker: 'How the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice?'

Judiciary Dem asks Whitaker: 'How the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice?' Rep. Hakeem Jeffries questioned how Matthew Whitaker became President Trump's acting attorney general. "I'm confused. I really am. We're all trying to figure out, who are you? Where did you come from?" Jeffries, a member of Democratic House leadership seen as a possible future Speaker, asked Whitaker during the House Judiciary Committee hearing. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "And how the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice?" Jeffries stated.

" House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Judiciary Committee Republicans today sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and

There are two main types of congressional committees in the United States House of Representatives, standing committees and select committees .

The new hires will get to work on what the committee says will be "robust oversight agenda." Their immediate tasks will center on requests for documents from the administration on areas of interest - requests that may well prompt battles with the White House and potential executive privilege claims.

The committee will also launch a series of public hearings on these issues.

Eisen is the co-founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, a prominent watchdog group. The committee describes Berke as one of the leading trial lawyers in the country and an expert on federal criminal law, including public corruption.

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