Ranking member of the Judiciary Committee Representative Doug Collins unleashed on the chairman and those at the hearing of Acting AG Matt Whitaker.
Republican Representative Doug Collins launched an extraordinary tirade at the start of Democrats’ oversight of the Trump administration, railing against what he called “political theater” as he defended Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Collins, the ranking member of the now-Republican minority on the House Judiciary Committee, followed Democratic Jerrold Nadler’s introduction and immediately called for an adjournment of Whitaker’s testimony.
Whitaker’s appearance before the committee came after a dramatic showdown Thursday when the temporary head of the Department of Justice refused to appear unless there were guarantees that he would not be subpoenaed. The two sides eventually found a compromise, but there was little goodwill on show at the first hearing featuring a member of the Trump administration facing questions by a committee controlled by Democrats.
“This is nothing more than a character assassination,” Collins said as he spoke his opening remarks. Collins added that Democrats were playing a “hide and seek game” and accused them of putting on a “show,” all the while conducting plenty of political theater of his own as he raised his voice and waved his arms around.
“This hearing is pointless,” Collins said. “If this is the way we’re going to go, if this is where we’re going then we’ll have plenty of stunts, we’re going to have plenty of theatrics. Bring your popcorn. I’m thinking about maybe we set up a popcorn machine at the back because this is what it’s become. It’s become a show.”
Before joining the Justice Department, Whitaker criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, which he has overseen as acting attorney general, multiple times