"While he was acting attorney general, Mr. Whitaker was directly involved in conversations about whether to fire one or more USA attorneys", Nadler continued.
Collins said that Whitaker told the committee leaders he discussed the Cohen case with his own staff, but he did not have any conversations with the Southern District of NY about the scope or Berman's recusal. At a public hearing last month, Whitaker denied a report by CNN that Trump "lashed out" at him about the Cohen investigation in NY.
One thing that Nadler said he had questions about was whether Trump had "lashed out" at Whitaker after Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. There's a lot of fake news out there. Whitaker denied he had spoken to Mr. Trump about his former attorney, who is now cooperating with the special counsel's office, in testimony last month. But the dispute could have high stakes, as Democrats have voiced concerns that Whitaker was a Trump loyalist whose appointment, they suspect, was aimed at suppressing investigations of the Republican president. The ranking Republican on the committee, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., was also there, and disputed Nadler's account.
However, Nadler did not say Whitaker explicitly acknowledged having conversations with Mr. Trump about Cohen.
"Unlike in the hearing room, Mr. Whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss the Michael Cohen case and personnel decisions in the Southern District", the New York Democrat told reporters.
On Wednesday, Republicans on the committee challenged Mr. Cummings to live up to that.
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Additionally, a separate source described as "familiar with the emails" said that Trump's legal team was trying to keep Cohen from flipping on the president and "hinting that a pardon could be in the mix at some point".
The aides said that Whitaker denied interfering in the case or speaking with Southern District prosecutors, saying that he merely discussed his concerns with his own staff.
Cohen pleaded guilty as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to making false statements to Congress in 2017 regarding the timeline of a Trump Tower project in Russian Federation.
In his public hearing, Whitaker denied that Trump had lashed out at him, and he would not say anything about his conversations with Trump about Cohen or the Southern District of NY.
Cohen is slated to begin a three-year prison sentence in May.
Trump initially denied any knowledge of those payments and reimbursements.