Whitaker has been supervising special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after rejecting the advice of career ethics officials to step aside out of an abundance of caution. He declined to say, for instance, whether he had discussed other ongoing investigations with the President, like the one in the Southern District of NY, and whether he deemed Mueller's probe a "witch hunt", a term the President has used several times.
But the antagonism between House Democrats and Whitaker was on full display throughout the hearing on Friday.
"I can assure you [Barr] has a very high opinion of Mr. Mueller and he is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish his job", Republican South Carolina Sen.
"I'll assume you know the difference", Jeffries added. At another point, he asked Nadler "what is the basis" for a question.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to support William P. Barr, Trump's pick for attorney general, and the Republican-led Senate is expected to confirm him in coming weeks. He is the person "ultimately in charge of the investigation", yet insisted he has not interfered in any way with it. "I have and will continue to manage this investigation in a manner that is consistent with the governing regulations".
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., closed the hearing, which saw many tense back-and-forth exchanges between Whitaker and Democrats on the panel, by telling Whitaker he owes the committee answers to follow-up questions.
"I am not your puppet, to repeat what you are saying", Mr. Whitaker responded. "We have agreed to five-minute rounds", said Whitaker, seemingly surprised by the room's response.
More than three dozen die in bootleg liquor poisoning
The viscera examination on 11 more bodies is yet to be conducted to find out if these too were alcohol-related deaths. According to Kushinagar District Magistrate, Anil Kumar, eight deaths have been reported in Kushinagar district.
Republican Doug Collins assailed the objective for the hearing and unsuccessfully called for it to be adjourned.
Whitaker found himself in yet another standoff later as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) attempted to ask a question about Whitaker's previous charity work.
Whitaker said he had not talked to President Trump about the investigation, but said he intends to keep his conversations with the president private.
Members from both sides of the aisle questioned Whitaker during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Friday.
Whitaker has come under scrutiny for his involvement with the invention promotion company, which was accused of misleading consumers and has been under investigation by the FBI. He talks to Anna Maria Tremonti about his time working on Trump's campaign, and having the president's ear.
After Mr Whitaker, the former chief of staff to Mr Sessions, was temporarily appointed to the position, it emerged he had written several op-eds that were sharply critical of Mr Mueller's probe.
Demings also asked if Whitaker agreed with Trump's statement at a rally past year, "Look what's being exposed at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation and has called Mueller's investigation a witch hunt.