Rep. Pramila Jayapal shut down Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker after he lied about Trump's family separation policy.
In a Friday hearing, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) busted Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker for lying about the Trump administration's family separation policy, and reminded him of the irrevocable harm the policy had on children and their families.
When Jayapal asked Whitaker if he was then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions' chief of staff in the midst of the Trump administration's family separation policy, Whitaker tried to deny the policy even existed.
"There was no family separation policy," Whitaker, who was testifying under oath, said. Without missing a beat, Jayapal busted him for lying, saying Whitaker's statement "has been given four Pinocchios multiple times."
Jayapal is referring to the ranking system used by the Washington Post Fact Checker column. Four Pinocchios is the worst ranking a statement can receive.
Jayapal then read from a leaked draft memo that laid out the very family separation policy Whitaker denied.
During the spring and summer of 2018, the Trump administration ripped thousands of children away from their families as immigrants crossed the border. Many families were legally seeking asylum, only to be separated by Trump administration officials.
After news of the policy spread, including the revelation that Trump was building baby jails to incarcerate toddlers, national and international outrage exploded.
But significant damage had already been done, as the Trump administration lost track of hundreds of parents, effectively kidnapping children while being unable or unwilling to reunite them with their families.
Jayapal also forced Whitaker to admit the DOJ has no process in place to track separated families.
An impassioned Jayapal then demanded to know if Whitaker was aware of "what kind of damage has been done to children and families across this country? Children who will never get to see their parents again? Do you understand the magnitude of that?"
In previous congressional testimony, Health and Human Services (HHS) officials warned about potential health consequences resulting from the family separation policy.
"Separation of children from their parents entails significant risk of harm to children," Commander Jonathan D. White, an HHS official, told senators.
In merely five minutes, Rep. Jayapal exposed Whitaker as just another Trump lackey willing to lie to Congress about one of the most abhorrent and cruel policies of this administration.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.