Rep. Jackson Lee Demands 'Yes or No! Yes or No!' When Acting AG Answers Her Question

By Michael W. Chapman | February 8, 2019 | 6:12 PM EST

Acting AG Matt Whitaker and
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.)

( -- During Friday's House Judiciary Committee hearing about the Justice Department and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) repeatedly demanded that Whitaker answer her questions with only "yes or no" responses, an instruction that Whitaker did not obey and which subsequently angered the congresswoman.

"With the short time that I have, I want to make sure that your questions are answered in a yes or no manner," said Rep. Lee as she started her interrogation of Whitaker. 

"You did not have a confirmation hearing and you have not yet appeared for an oversight hearing, yes or no?" she asked. "Yes or no?"

Whitaker then adjusted his glasses and said, "Congresswoman, I am the acting attorney general --."  Lee cut him off and said, "Yes or no? -- Have you appeared for an oversight hearing before the Congress?"

Whitaker started to respond but Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y) gaveled and then ordered, "Witness will answer the question as asked, please."

"The member [Lee] only has five minutes and if she wants yes or no answers, she's entitled to it," said Nadler. "I will not allow the witness to stall and waste member's time. Witness will answer the question."

Ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said that Whitaker should be allowed to answer a question as he sees fit and then asked Chariman Nadler, "Where were you when [Attorney General] Holder was here [testifying]?"

Rep. Lee returned to her line of questioning and again asked for yes or no answers.  The exchange degenerated from that point as the video shows. 

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman

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