The House Judiciary Committee said it had proof that can back the report that President Donald Trump demanded from ex-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to put U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of a probe into his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, The Hill reported.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the development took place on Monday, however, the newspaper could not find evidence nor confirm that Whitaker has actually acted upon this request.
Berman, who had donated to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, had recused himself from the Southern District of New York’s investigation into Cohen.
The Journal, citing one person familiar with the matter, noted that the Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Whitaker committed perjury while giving testimony before the panel earlier this month.
“At no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation or any other investigation,” Whitaker said to the panel at the time.
Whitaker did not respond at the request of WSJ. A Department of Justice spokesperson, Kerri Kupec, also declined to comment on Whitaker’s private talks with Trump, noting that Whitaker has stood by his testimony.
“Under oath to the House Judiciary Committee, then-acting Attorney General Whitaker stated that ‘at no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation or any other investigation’,” Kupec told The New York Times last week. “Mr. Whitaker stands by his testimony.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Trump lashed out at The New York Times last week after it released a report on the ways he has allegedly tried to influence investigations into him and his allies.
“The New York Times reporting is false,” Trump tweeted. “They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
Trump also said the report was “fake news” when asked about the alleged request he made of Whitaker.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to bank fraud, tax fraud, and campaign finance violations, is set to testify this week before the House Oversight Committee.