You wouldn’t want to have to be the person in charge of changing President Trump’s diapers right now.
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If you thought that Trump has been acting like an obviously guilty lunatic recently — tweeting ludicrous protestations of innocence as new evidence of his criminality is revealed on a daily basis — get ready for a nuclear-level distraction campaign now that his former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has retracted the denial he gave in his appearance last month in front of the House Judiciary Committee that the president ever tried to get him to interfere in the multiple investigations being conducted into his conduct.
Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, revealed that there were significant differences in what Whitaker told top members of the committee today and what he told them under oath in his sworn testimony.
“One, unlike in the hearing room, Mr. Whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss Michael Cohen, the Michael Cohen case, and personnel decisions in the southern district. Two, while he was acting attorney general, Mr. Whitaker was directly involved in conversations about whether to fire one or more U.S. attorneys. Three, while he was acting attorney general, Mr. Whittaker was involved in conversations about the scope of the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Berman’s recusal, and whether the Southern District went too far in pursuing the campaign finance case in which the president was listed as Individual-1,” Rep. Nadler told reporters outside the House committee chambers.
JUST IN: Chairman Nadler talks about what he says former Acting AG Whitaker discussed during closed-door hearing today, including conversations about the president and the Cohen case, and staffing issues with US attorneys. https://t.co/4L98WGt7t3 pic.twitter.com/vWIgT2YI1N
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 13, 2019
Nadler’s comments indicate that Whitaker himself faces the possibility of indictment on charges of lying to Congress and that the House now has more direct evidence of obstruction of justice by President Trump than they did yesterday.
Whitaker’s admission that his previous testimony exonerating President Trump had been untruthful is not only damning proof that Trump lies constantly to cover up his misdeeds, but also confirmation of the prediction Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made during his last public congressional appearance about what would happen to the other people continuing to defend the president.
“I did the same thing that you’re doing now for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years,” Cohen warned.
“I can only warn people, the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering,” he later added.
While Nadler declined to outline what steps the committee would take next after discovering this latest bombshell, but that did not stop political analysts from speculating.
MSNBC political analysts Elise Jordan and Nicolle Wallace discussed the significance of the news:
“This all but guaranteeing, Elise, that Matt Whittaker is not a witness — and perhaps he already was — in the obstruction of justice investigation into Donald Trump out of the main DOJ, the Mueller office and perhaps one also at SDNY,” Wallace opined.
“At this stage, we should expect that plenty of Trump officials are lying to us,” Jordan chimed in. “But it is jaw-dropping that the acting Attorney General blatantly lied to Congress and he was concerned enough about going to prison that he came back a week later to do clean up.”
As of 6 PM Eastern time today, there have been no rage tweet replies from President Trump, but it’s only a matter of time before we get another denial — paired with a character assassination of the admittedly easy target of his former acting Attorney General — from the president.
Meanwhile, Whitaker’s sudden departure from the Justice Department where he was expected to remain after handing over the reins of the department to the new — presumably long-term — Attorney General makes a lot more sense now. His revelations today would make interactions in the hallways of the Justice Department rather uncomfortable from here on in.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Bob Brigham at RawStory.