Democrat to acting AG: 'We are not joking here'

TheHill | 2/8/2019 | Morgan Chalfant
jacensolo775 (Posted by) Level 3
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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) chided acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker for behaving in an unacceptable manner during a confrontational House Judiciary Committee hearing Friday.

“Mr. attorney general, we are not joking here,” Jackson Lee said. “And your humor is not acceptable.”

Exchange - Congresswoman - Whitaker - Series - Yes

The tense exchange came as the congresswoman asked Whitaker a series of yes or no questions about his role at the Justice Department and oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Members often asked yes or no questions during oversight hearings in order to cycle through more inquiries within the five-minute time limit they have for questions.

At one point, Jackson Lee was interrupted and asked for her time to be restored.

Clock - Jackson - Lee

“Can the clock be restored?” Jackson Lee asked.

Whitaker quipped in response, “I don’t know if your time has been restored or not.”

Jackson - Lee - Whitaker - Humor - Duty

Jackson Lee then chastised Whitaker for his humor and said he was there “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, I will behave appropriately as a member of the Judiciary Committee,” Jackson Lee said.

Whitaker - Response - Judiciary - Chairman - Jerrold

Whitaker earlier had offered a cheeky response to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), telling him that his “five minutes is up” for questioning.

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