In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos Sunday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the future chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, comments on the appointment of Matt Whitaker as the acting attorney general, saying it is "part of a pattern of obstruction" of the Mueller Russia probe. In another interview Sunday he said he plans to hold hearings on the Whitaker appointment in the Judiciary committee.
"Our very first witness on -- after January 3, we will subpoena -- or we will summon, if necessary, subpoena Mr. Whitaker," Nadler said on CNN's 'State of the Union.'
STEPHANOPOULOS: You chair – you will chair the Judiciary Committee, the president just announced that Matt Whitaker will be the acting attorney general. Do believe that appointment was legal?
NADLER: I don’t think it is legal because there’s no advice and consent. I don’t think the attorney general can – can – can be appointed without advice and consent of the – of the Senate, without the consent of the Senate.
But I’ll go further, the – his appointment is simply part of an attack on the investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel. It’s part of a pattern of interference by the president and part of a pattern of obstruction of that – attempt of obstruction of that investigation.
And that investigation is very important to assure the rule of law and to assure that we know what happened when the Russians attempted to subvert our election with the alleged complicity of people in the Trump campaign.
It’s very important that the integrity of our elections be assured. And so we have to protect that investigation for the reasons I just stated and to show that not – not the president, not anybody is above the law.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say his choice is part of a pattern of obstruction. When you put all the pieces together over the last year and a half, do you believe the president has obstructed justice?
NADLER: I’m not prepared to say that yes – to say that yet. Let’s say that there’s a lot of evidence to that effect, but that’s what we will – we will be looking at. It’s what the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee should have been having proper investigations about but the Republicans in Congress said they did not want to hold the president accountable.
They surrendered their constitutional duty of – of providing a check and a balance. We will not. We will provide a check and a balance, we will hold the president accountable. He will learn that he is accountable, that he’s not above the law and that’s part of what we’ll have to look at.