Speed Reads


House committee thinks it has evidence Trump asked Whitaker to put an ally in charge of Cohen probe

The House Judiciary Committee believes it has evidence that President Trump asked then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to put an ally in charge of an investigation into his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This follows a report from The New York Times that Trump made this request of Whitaker, asking him whether he could get attorney Geoffrey Berman to head the Southern District of New York's ongoing investigation, even though Berman is a Trump supporter who donated to his campaign and used to work with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Berman had also previously recused himself from the probe, which has looked into Trump's inaugural committee and has led to charges against Cohen, who implicated Trump in a crime.

The Judiciary Committee is also reportedly examining whether Whitaker may have committed perjury when he told Congress, "At no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation or any other investigation." The Washington Post's Aaron Blake points out that Whitaker also said no one from the White House contacted him to express "dissatisfaction" with the SDNY probe.

Whitaker hasn't commented on these reports, but Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has asked him to come back to Congress to "clarify his testimony."