WASHINGTON – Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee expressed outrage on Friday after acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker did not answer her questions in the fashion she saw fit.
“Mr. Attorney General, we’re not joking here and your humor is not acceptable,” Jackson Lee told Whitaker while holding a copy of the U.S. constitution. “Now you’re here because we have a constitutional duty to ask questions and the Congress has the right to establish government rules.”
“The rules are that you are here, so I need to ask the question and I need to have my time restored so that you can behave appropriately,” Jackson Leecontinued. “I will behave appropriately as a member of the judiciary committee.”
Jackson Lee’s response was triggered after she asked the House Judiciary Committee if her time to question the witness was restored and Whitaker replied that he was not sure.
The contentious line of questioning continued after Whitaker refrained from answering her question with a simple “yes” or “no”, a demand which she expressed repeatedly.
“You have the responsibility of answering the question,” Jackson Lee told Whitaker.
President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker to serve as the acting attorney general after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to resign. With the elevation, Whitaker assumed control of oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling.