Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. (CBS photo)
Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. (CBS photo)

Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker leaves Justice Department

Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has left the building, CBS News correspondent Paula Reid reports. Although he was replaced by Attorney General William Barr last month, Whitaker was spotted at the Justice Department as recently as last week and had not previously announced his intention to leave the department.

Whitaker’s last day at the Justice Department was Saturday. It’s unclear what he will do next.

Whitaker short tenure as the acting attorney general stirred controversy, particularly given his comments critical of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation before joining the Justice Department.

Whitaker was grilled before the House Judiciary Committee last month, claiming he didn’t discuss the Mueller probe with Mr. Trump and gave the White House no assurances about the probe. But perhaps the most memorable point of that hearing came when Whitaker told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler his time for questioning had expired.

“Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” Whitaker said in comments that shocked the room. “I am here voluntarily. We have agreed to five-minute rounds.”

Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney, also made headlines in January when he said the Mueller report was “close to being completed.”

Whitaker took over for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November, after Mr. Trump abruptly announced Sessions’ resignation the day after the midterm elections. Whitaker had served as Sessions’ chief of staff since September 2017.

Author: CBS News
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