tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN February 8, 2019 5:00am-6:01am PST
liberal justices voting for the stay. what does that mean going forward? other major news, the explosive blog post from amazon ceo jeff bezos accusing the enquirer of extortion and blackmail. this matters on many levels. david pecker is a long-time friend of president trump. the company has not yet commented on the allegations. >> a story you saw first on cnn. top white house aide kellyanne conway said a woman assaulted her in a maryland restaurant in front of her daughter and other children in october. the woman has been charged but denies the allegations. in the next hour matt whitaker, acting attorney general, will appear before the house judiciary committee. how much will he say with conversations with the president about the russia investigation? we have a lot to cover. lauren fox is on capitol hill ahead of the hearing today. good morning. >> reporter: good morning.
yesterday it wasn't even clear if whitaker would be coming to the capitol. yesterday morning the house judiciary committee passed a preemptive subpoena saying basically, we are not using this unless matthew whitaker doesn't answer questions we have for him. in the afternoon, the justice department said this violates the agreement we had with you. whitaker was going to come willingly. if you don't use the subpoena he won't appear at all. yesterday afternoon we didn't know if he would be coming. last night, the chairman of the judiciary committee tweeted we would see matthew whitaker today at 9:30. that's setting the table for a very tension-filled hearing up here on capitol hill today. we do know democrats have a few lines of questioning that they need from matthew whitaker. they want to know why he didn't recuse himself from the mueller investigation. the other question they have, what conversations have you had with the president about the russia investigation. all of that, things democrats
want to know and adding tension to the hearing today is the fact that house democrats sent a letter basically accusing whitaker of not paying back money he owed from a business venture he was involved in at world patent marketing. all of that to be watching today in the house judiciary committee which, like you said, starts in just a little over an hour. >> lauren fox on capitol hill. thank you very much. joining us now, dana bash, our chief political correspondent. frank bruni, "new york times" columnist and chris cillizza, editor at large. i think this is must see tv next hour. >> of course. >> this is the first time we'll have seen an administration official appear before this new democratic-controlled house of representatives and it will be on the subject of russia.
>> as we have been gearing up for what does it mean to have a democratic controlled congress, you nailed it, john. this will be the first time we'll see the ramifications for the republicans of the elections in november. there will be a lot of talk, a lot of discussion, a lot of questions about all things russia. i think the theater of trying to get those answers might be more telling than the answers we actually get because in the letter that the house judiciary chairman jerry nadler sent in order to get the testimony up and running today, he made it clear they are going to take the questions -- his words were a case-by-case basis. that made whitaker feel comfortable to come up here. likely a lot of, i'm sorry, i can't discuss that. i can't discuss my conversations with the president. still, it is going to be fascinating to see how he
navigates through the questions. >> what the reaction will be ultimately if anything from the white house. the president saying, oh, i think he'll do a great job. really not saying anything. you know for good reason they are watching this closely as well. >> we should watch the president's twitter account as a result of that. as you said and as dana said, this is a game-on moment. once democrats have control of the house, once they are worn in will we see more hearings, how aggressive will they be and that got put to the side during the long federal shutdown. we forgot this is what we have been waiting for ever since democrats did well in the midterms. this could be a frustrating and disappointing hearing. you will hear a lot of matthew whitaker saying i can't discuss that, that's covered by executive privilege. the waving around of the subpoena was a way for the democrats on the committee to flex their muscles, say we are here, game on. hard to know if we'll be
frustrated or see anything substantive happen. >> they decided no to deliver the subpoena during the hearing. that doesn't mean tomorrow morning they won't show up with it. chris cillizza, what are you watching for today? >> talk about drama. that would be amazing to hand him the subpoena during the hearing. largely it will be political theate theater. i don't think whitaker on his way out the door with bill barr's confirmation potentially next week, i don't think he'll answer the questions jerry n nadler wants answered. so what information can they extract if any? he's in a position to shine a lot of light on his interactions with the president. status of the mueller probe. i don't think he'll do those things. maybe there is a little bit there. we focused on democrats. republicans have their own issue with the justice department,
particularly those on the conservative right related to lisa page, peter strzok. you know about the clinton e-mail investigation, james comey. there is a lot there. again, the problem is i think whitaker has roughly zero incentive to be forthcoming and will likely claim executive privilege or conversations in that regard a lot. i think we'll get less than we hope for. in terms of washington drama, this is sort of top shelf stuff. >> we'll be watching. i want to get to some reporting you have. you sat down with kellyanne conway. she revealed something to you we hadn't heard before about an assault. walk us through what happened there. >> this is something that she hadn't talked about before. it happened in november.
four months ago -- october, excuse me. around all of the tension surrounding brett kavanaugh, the hearings, the confirmation. she was in a restaurant in suburban d.c. with her middle school-aged daughter and her friends. here's how she described it. >> i was assaulted in a restaurant. that person has to go to court soon. >> assaulted how? >> i was standing next to my daughter and many of her friends at dinner. she was right here next to me. her friends were, too. somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbed my arms and was shaking me to the point i thought maybe somebody was hugging me. one of the other parents coming to pick up his or her daughter. it felt weird like that's aggressive. i turned around and the woman was unhinged.
>> a stranger. >> she was out of control. i don't know how to explain her to you. her whole face was terror, anger. she was right here. my daughter was there. she ought to pay for that. she has no right to touch anybody. >> kellyanne conway called 911. the police ended up coming and mary elizabeth inbennett was charged with second degree assault, disorderly conduct and there will be a trial in march. our colleague reached out to get the information and also to the woman's attorney who disputed conway's account. i want to read a statement. >> ms. inabinett saw kellyanne conway, a public figure, in a public place and exercised her first amendment right to express her personal opinions. she did not assault ms. conway.
she will be pleading not guilty. >> really interesting. again, no one, any party, any circumstance should be faced with physical assault in a restaurant, particularly not with your children there. >> exactly. another fascinating development over the last 24 hours has to do with the founder of amazon, jeff bezos, owner of "the washington post" and the national enquirer. i will shorthand this. the enquirer published a story outing the fact that jeff bezos was having an affair and is getting divorced. that was act one. act two, apparently bezos was investigating the enquirer, how they got text messages and people close to bezos found information they believe found there were political motivations. the enquirer said you better come out with a statement saying it wasn't political or we are going to publish naked pictures of you. that's the shorthand here.
i don't think i'm making this up. it was all in a letter jeff bezos wrote out yesterday. he didn't want to let himself be extorted, in his words, by the enquirer. >> he's getting ahead of the whole thing. i urge viewers to read it. it's fascinating and this is amazing. i have big questions about this. why is it so important to ami that jeff bezos at "the washington post" say there are no political motivations here? and we are getting a glimpse of how people with whom the president has been allied behave. we see the tactics and the lack of ethics, morals they exhibit in terms of the extortion attempt, blackmail attempts. these are people with whom the president was close for a long time. that's a larger context to keep our eyes on. >> just to add to frank's point, remember. i heard jeff toobin make this point earlier.
it's important to remember. ami was paid off karen macdougal to catch and kill a story in which she alleged she had an affair with the then candidate for the president of the united states donald trump. we know through michael cohen at least and through the southern district of new york that these payments both to macdougal and stormy daniels were directed and coordinated, the words of the southern district, by -- they didn't name him, but by donald trump. frank is exactly right. why is ami so concerned about it being labeled politically motivated? we know already a mirks, and donald trump have worked together to help him politically speaking to keep this karen macdougal situation at a minimum private. >> we look at all of this. in part of the blog post, i encourage you to read it.
in the post he puts in the e-mails he received from dylan howard who's been mentioned in other instances including harvey weinstein. also from the general counsel. through the pictures we referred to mentioned in one of the e-mails and the fact mentioned there that these concerns about this appearing political. to chris's point and frank's point, as we look at that, we have not heard word one from ami. they are not responding. we took a look. they have not tweeted from the national enquirer in 15 hours. the only story on the home page related to bezos is the one a couple of days after his divorce was announced. it makes you wonder what the conversations are. if they are so concerned this might be political. >> they are pulling in the hoses
for a five-alarm fire. it's very bad. it took a lot of guts to do this scorched earth strategy from the perspective of bezos. with regard to david pecker, ami and realtime what his relationship with donald trump is they are not in the greatest situation right now. pecker has, according to our reporting been cooperating with federal prosecutors around and about these payments. unclear if the two are sympatico politically as we speak. there's no question they were during the president's campaign. >> we know, too, donald trump -- i remember i used to work at "the washington post." donald trump would take shots at the post because jeff bezos
owned it. it was some sort of tax credit. none of that accurate. referred to him as jeff bozo. we know donald trump's relationship with jeff bezos at least publicly is maybe a one-sided relationship but not pleasant. >> we are also forgetting to mention one important thing when we talk about intimidating bezos. there's political motivation of the saudi government here. we don't know if ami is doing the bidding of the president or another government. >> jamal kashoggi was murdered. today there will be talk if the crown prince is connected. everything is connected. thank you very much. the house intelligence committee wrapping up the investigation into the president's ties to russia.
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congressman sean patrick maloney, a new member of the house intelligence committee. i bet you are happy to be on the committee now. no action at all, congressman. >> it is important work. looking forward to doing it. >> the president is going after the committee chair as he has for some time. the new complaint is the committee hired someone who worked on the national security council. is anything wrong with that? >> nothing. >> why would that person be useful for the committee's investigation? >> for one thing they would have a pre-existing security clearance so they can get started on day one. it is a stupid, silly complaint from a man who claims to be innocent and acts very guilty. thieves think all men steal. there is nothing wrong with serious congressional oversight involving foreign influence in our elections and money influencing foreign policy decisions. that's what this is about. judge us by our work. he thinks all investigations
will be like the republicans did. they were completely partisan exercises as kevin mccarthy said. the fact is this will be a serious look. chairman schiff is a serious man. we'll do a good job. >> it will be expansive based on what was laid out. my question is why do you think it's necessary? how much of this will be overlap with what robert mueller is doing and how much of this is to go beyond the investigation. >> what we are going to do is fill in the holes that should have been addressed when the republicans issued the report prematu prematurely. if you go back and read it, it's not worth the paper it's on. it's embarrassing. we'll finish that work. we voted to release the transcripts. that's important so the public can see what's been going on.
in addition we'll make sure they are available to the special council for use in possible perjury persecutions. there will be liability if you lied. we'll look at money from countries like saudi arabia that may influence our foreign policy decisions. we saw it at work with the death of khashoggi at the hands of the saudis. it is important to see what the business and financial relationships are between the foreign actors and u.s. policy makers. >> one of the things that allies of the administration say is that for all the convictions or charges or indictments involved with the mueller investigation, none are for the underlying crime, they say, of collusion. take roger stone. that's about lying to investigators, obstruction, witness tampering. is there merit in that? >> you have three dozen indictments. a hundred pages in one case. you've got five guilty pleas or
arrangements with senior advisers of the trump team. if you read the stone indictment it's like a novel detailing step by step coordination with maligned foreign actors. wikileaks which we know is a conduit for russian intelligence services dumping stolen material. that's criminal conspiracy. i say let mueller finish and then we'll make judgments about it. i think he's not done yet. >> in terms of witnesses i talked to jackie spear and she's said for some time she wants to see donald trump, jr., appear before the committee. do you have in your mind specific witnesses you want to hear more from? >> i want to find out the facts and i want it to be fair. whatever witness is required to provide material information about the matters we are charged with overseeing should appear and should be held accountable for truthful testimony. that will obviously include members of the president's
family like don, jr., who was involved centrally in critical meetings. there is no one person in particular we are after. i want the facts and i want it to be fair. >> you are a new member to the committee. i'm curious since you joined, is there anything you have had access to that's surprised you in terms of the investigations? >> i'm not prepared to comment on that. we just began the investigation this week. i'm not coming into it with prejudgments. i'm reading the material with fresh eyes. there is a lot of troubling material in the public domain in the work of the special counsel. we have a job to do in congress. it's not the same job as the special counsel. we have a constitutional oversight obligation in this committee and all committees. this administration has been getting away with murder. it is about time there were adults in the room looking over their shoulder. >> one of the things is a
bipartisan group of members of congress, bicameral, senate and members of the house looking to reach an agreement on border security funding. we hear they are trying to hammer out a deal. are you optimistic that there is something the president would sign that you would support in terms of funding for border barriers? >> the last part of the question is tricky. i'm confident the members of the conference committee will come up with a good deal. the question is if the president will go along with it. there is no support in his own party for shutting down the government before. it was a disaster and a disgrace. i'm chairing the coast guard subcommittee. we lost a member in alaska in an accident. he's from my district. he wasn't paid during that time. that's disdprasful. there is work to do. i hope we can focus on it. i don't think the president will see support in his party for an
emergency declaration. i represent west point and there are a couple hundred million dollars at work in military construction at west point. you will be robbing the next generation of military leaders to pay for a fant asy construction on the border. we need to see what works with evidence leading our decisions. the president should go along with it. i can't tell you if he will. >> thank you very much for being with us. i appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> the u.s. supreme court blocking a louisiana law that would have restricted abortion clinics. chief justice john roberts siding with the liberal justices. before you read too much into it let's discuss it next. we're drowning in information. where in all of this is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future.
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liberal justices for the vote. before we dig into what we saw in terms of the decision and try to read the tea leaves, walk us through what this means and why this stays in place. why is it important in terms of this law? >> abortion rights supporters said to the supreme court, put it on hold for now. we'll come back and ask you to look at it. they said the law requires these providers to have admitting privileges in local hospitals. they said, look, there is no medical justification for that. this is just a veiled atestimony to blo -- attempt to block abortion. louisiana said, look, really what the law was meant to do was to show the physicians are competent to do this, to help women's health. on the other hand, they said, no, this is a veiled attempt. we see these laws all over the country. what's key is this is temporary. they said, put it on hold.
then we are going to ask the supreme court to take up the legality of it probably some time next term. that's what we are looking at now. >> tlts a lot being made of the fact that chief justice john roberts did side with the liberals here. the case is being made. that's not really about the merits of the law. in fact, it's more about procedure and precedent for chief justice roberts. >> yes. i'm sorry. i was listening to her so carefully i lost my concentration. roberts said let's just wait to hear the case on the merits. we are not going to change abortion law just on this procedural ruling. the other four justice, the more conservative justices said, no, let's let this law go into effect. what's most interesting about the four dissenters, the conservatives, is it includes brett kavanaugh. brett kavanaugh during his
confirmation hearings, susan collins put a lot of weight on this in deciding to vote for him, he said he respected precedent and the implication was he respected roe v. wade. the vote yesterday is a strong indication, i think, that kavanaugh will vote against roe v. wade, against abortion rights and so the replacement of kavanaugh for kennedy means the end of abortion rights. >> which you pegged from the beginning. in reading his dissent did anything in particular stand out to you? >> it was mostly about the facts of the louisiana law. >> right. >> what's important to remember is that the court considered an almost identical law in texas. >> right. >> just three years ago in 2016. if that law is still good law, this law would be thrown out overnight. i think what we are seeing is the court shifting on abortion.
the fact that there were four votes to let this law go into effect with roberts who voted to uphold the texas law. i think there are five votes that will uphold it when the court hears it on the merits. >> donald trump from the beginning promised, right, i'm going to get you a conservative justice. this is a major voting point for a number of americans when it comes to the supreme court when it comes to abortion rights. talking about who he wants to see legislation dealing with late-term abortions. listen to that. >> justice roberts could have -- >> to defend the dignity of every person, i am asking congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb.
>> that has gotten a lot of attention not only in terms of following the president's desire there, but also other states step up to protect existing rights for women. how much more of this do you expect to see? >> there are several cases coming down the pike already at the supreme court. i think what's key here is how roberts acted. he acted as an institutionalist, right? what jeff said is key. roberts was in dissent there. if he had voted here and had allowed this law to go into effect it would have looked like whiplash and like the court was moving in a political way. they hadn't had a chance to hear it. roberts said, okay, let's take things slowly, allow it to go, block it now and then we can look at the bigger question. roberts is playing a very key role here. he wants to keep the court out
of the political fray for now. he wants to keep it under the radar. make no mistake about it. roberts is a conservative. when this case comes to the supreme court and the other ones that are percolating and making their way up there, we may see something different from what we saw last night. >> remember, the state legislators in the conservative states know who's on the supreme court. so they are being more aggressive in passing laws that limit abortion more and more in the hope that these laws will be upheld and ultimately roe will be over turn eturned. >> appreciate it. >> hours from now president trump will receive his annual physical. dr. sanjay gupta tells us what we know about the president's health. there have been interesting statements the last few weeks from people inside the white house on this. stick around. (burke) parking splat. and we covered it.
hospital, the second of his presidency. you will remember last year's health assessment left lots of questions about the true state of the president's health. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta was there last year to receive the report and is back in d.c. today. sanjay? >> we learned a lot last year. it was a long physical exam the president had. took about four hours. there were 12 consultants involved, lots of blood work, tests of the heart and other diagnostic tests. the question they are trying to answer -- is the president fit to lead? dr. ryan jackson, his doctor gave an enthusiastic yes to the question. >> in summary, the president's overall health is excellent. >> reporter: a remarkable scene in january in the white house briefing room. dr. jackson the white house doctor at the time enthusias enthusiastically endorsing the president's health. >> the president is currently very healthy and will remain so for the duration of his
presidency. >> reporter: jackson told us the president was 6'3", 239 pounds. just one pound shy of being clinically obese. resting heart rate, 68. blood pressure, 122 over 74. toe al cholesterol, 223, high. triglycerides, 129. good cholesterol, 67. bad, 143. >> explain to me a guy who never exercises and eats fried chicken and all the diet cokes is in good shape. >> genetics, i don't know. some people have great genes. i told the president if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years he might live to 200. >> he does have heart disease? >> he does not. >> he had a ct scan that showed calcium in the coronary blood vessels. >> he has -- he did. technically he has nonclinical coronary atherosclerosis.
>> that's heart disease. his coronary calcium score last year was 133. according to the mayo clinic, 100 to 300 is associated with a relatively high risk of a heart attack in the next three to five years. president trump doesn't smoke or drink. as of last year he was taking five medications daily. ten milligrams of crestor for cholesterol. 80 milligrams of aspirin for heart health. propecia for hair loss, a daily multi vitamin and soolantra cream as needed for rosacea. >> we did a cognitive assessment because the president asked. he said is there a test or some type of screen we can do to assess my cognitive ability. >> reporter: this is what the montreal cognitive assessment looks like. jackson said the president got a 30 out of 30, a perfect score.
>> sanjay, this is where it gets interesting. what goals were set after last year's physical? >> there were specific goals dr. jackson laid out around diet. he said the president needed to be eating fewer carbs, fewer fat. in terms of weight loss dr. jackson said a 10 to 15-pound weight loss. his cholesterol was high. they wanted to increase the cholesterol lowering medication to bring it down. that was what was recommended. the question has been over the last year has he been a good patient, followed the doctor's recommendations. >> there have been deliberate leaks from the white house that perhaps he hasn't exercised nearly as much if at all as he was told to do a year ago. what about follow up tests? what do you expect? >> the heart is an area to zero in on with regard to the concerns about heart disease. he's scheduled for a colonoscopy. he had one in 2013. dr. jackson said he would have another one this year.
interestingly, just to put it on the back burner if he has it, will he need to be sedated and will he invoke the 25th amendment? george w. bush did that as president. >> an answer we don't know yet. thank you, sanjay. here's what to watch today. just ahead, the blog post that has everyone talking this morning, not just about what was in it, but the tabloid tactics
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robert mueller's russia investigation and a growing list of probes looming large every the trump presidency. now more from john dean, cnn contributor. there is a lot going on to put it mildly at this point. even just this week in terms of oversight and hearings in the house. as you look at everything that the trump white house is facing now, if you were in that white house, what do you see is the biggest threat? what's your biggest concern? >> i think they are in bunker mode, by the way. watching the incoming. one thing i would be watching for is what's happening in the house house. two committees. the house intelligence committee and the government operations committee. they are both very experienced
chairs and they are going to go to nadler. >> we'll see what happens today in terms of nadler and matt whitaker. >> adam schiff put out a list of fum items to look into and one is the president's financial dealings to see if other countries have a financial interest and leverage over him. what's the significance? >> he's not recognizing trump's read lin red line, for one thing. he'll go right across it. given trump's reaction that's a sensitive area for him. it's also one of the most telling. with watergate, for example, we had public hearings before we had grand juries. everything behind the grand jury is secret. we have had grand juries but no public hearings. this will educate the public as to what is really going on. >> you talk about the red line the president put out there which seems like a lifetime ago
in terms of finances. there is a fine political line for lawmakers in terms of the investigations they are calling for and the oversight they are doing. how do you think that calculation is going so far? >> i think slowly but surely some republicans in the senate are starting to have second thoughts. the house really believes it was put into office because they wanted oversight, investigations. so mr. trump is about to have a whole different experience which is called oversight. i don't think he's going to like it at all. politically, i think it is very important that we get an understanding of what's happening with this presidency. it will make it more comprehensib comprehensible. >> you brought up public hearings. in 20 minutes we'll see the acting attorney general matt whitaker appear before the house judiciary committee to face questions from house democrats. he may not provide many answers. this is a first. this is the first time an administration official will appear before a
democratic-controlled chamber and face questions that they can't control. so talk to me about the impact of public hearings over time. if this is the first of many, what is the impact on the political discourse? >> a couple of things. first of all, there will be a handful of members who are good questioners. most of them are not. those who have prior experience as prosecutors and what have you, they will be good. they'll pin him down. whether he'll answer anything or try to stonewall it as the term is used, we'll find out this morning. i think it is important for the public. we'll learn a lot just from the questions. where they are going, what they're thinking. he'll have to deal with this. >> you mentioned you think the white house now is in bunker mode. watching everything come in. you also told one of our producers earlier you wish you hadn't used the title worse than watergate already. would that apply here? >> i think it would.
i'm working on a book, but i said that title is gone. maybe far worse is a better title. what drove me to worse than watergate was using torture which was contrary to international and domestic law. that's why that title came out for bush. >> there is another story out today. we'd love to lean on your legal expertise here. it has to do with jeff bezos and the publisher of "the national enquirer." bezos wrote a blog post yesterday asserting he was trying to be extorted and blackmailed by ami. he was told and we have seen the e-mails that support it. either you say ami isn't going after him politically or they will publish naked photos of him. what kind of legal jeopardy do you think ami is under? >> i think they have real problems. first of all, i think it's wonderful that bezos did what he did. he's the second richest american
not to be shaken down. john paul getty, same situation. >> kidnapping. >> right at the heart of the family. his 16-year-old grandson. the fact that he just said, okay, here is what's going on. what we have is ami is under a cooperation prosecution agreement in the southern district that's delicate. they are playing a dangerous game. whether this is extortion is a question. who knows what was involved in getting this information that hurt bezos's marriage. this is just the opening shot of the story. >> remarkable again that they wanted him according to bezos in the e-mails to say this was not politically motivated. just the tip of the iceberg. >> that won't sell. >> john dean, appreciate it. the good stuff is next. my experience with usaa
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give the gift of devotion with our incredible selection of jewelry including hundreds of pieces under $299 dare to be devoted. only at jared. the good stuff, brought to you by jared. dare to go all in, never let go and be devoted. >> all right. it is time now for "the good stuff." a heartwarming reunion in florida between these two women. keisha oliver went into labor at her home.
the family called 911 for help and dispatcher amber sanchez calmly walked them through the birth step by step. >> can you see any part of the baby, sir? >> hang on. >> is the baby completely out yet? >> keisha said the pregnancy was high risk. she's grateful for amber's help. >> my miracle baby. i was not supposed to have this child. one of us was not supposed to be here. >> that's a great reunion and a great ending. a sweet baby. >> he needed a calm voice in that situation. >> you do. >> it's not necessarily a calm moment. >> based on experience, a calm voice helps. >> calm is not how i would describe it. >> not how you describe yourself in those moments? >> no. one of the least calm moments of
my life. thanks for being with us. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure. >> have a great weekend. >> you, too. >> "newsroom" begins right now. all right. top of the hour. good morning. i'm poppy harlow. good to be with you. jim has a well deserved day off. in just minutes a powerful house committee with democrats newly in command will face off against the powerful administration official who is on his way out, acting attorney general matthew whitaker is set to appear before the judiciary committee in what's sure to be the biggest public showdown so far. those are the key words. so far of the new and divided congress. until last night it wasn't clear that this would happen. whitaker refused to show up this morning if committee chairman democrat jerry nadler made good on the plan to have a subpoena ready and waiting to compel whitaker to answer the lawmakers' quess.