On Tuesday, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, released a letter addressed to acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Within it were three major news items as the committee seeks to “protect the work of special counsel Robert Mueller from undue influence or interference by the president of the United States.”
First, there was a warning to Whitaker that if he does not answer questions during a February 8th committee hearing, subpoenas will follow.
“My hope is that you will answer these questions voluntarily so that the committee can avoid resorting to compulsory process,” Nadler wrote.
Next, Nadler provided Whitaker all of the question in advance, and brought up executive privilege, attempting to force Whitaker’s (and perhaps Trump’s) hand.
“If President Trump plans to invoke executive privilege to prevent you from answering any of these questions, I ask that you notify the committee in writing no later than 48 hours in advance of the hearing,” he requested.
Last, Nadler outlined specific scenarios in which refraining from answering questions would be deemed as unacceptable by the committee.
“The committee will not accept your declining to answer any question on the theory that the president may want to invoke his privileges in the future,” he warned. “Similarly, I would view with considerable skepticism any effort to decline to answer on the basis that the inquiry is related to an ongoing criminal investigation.”
“The questions I have provided related to whether there has been interference in the special counsel’s work. They do not relate to the underlying substance of the investigation,” he concluded.
You can read more of the questions here.