House Democrats announced Friday that they have secured an interview with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the top official overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE's probe, for sometime in January.
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (Md.), the top Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, respectively, said after a call with the Justice Department's new top cop that the two parties had agreed to an interview.
"This afternoon, acting Attorney General Whitaker committed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee in January at a mutually agreeable date, which we look forward to," the Democrats said in a statement.
"In response to our various questions, the acting Attorney General affirmed that he was and will continue to follow all of the regulations, policies and procedures of the Department of Justice, including with regards to the Special Counsel investigation. We look forward to continued conversations in the future."
Democrats have said that Whitaker, who came onto their radar immediately after President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE pressured Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE to resign earlier this month, is their No. 1 priority to meet with in the next Congress because of his oversight role of the Mueller investigation.
Whitaker has faced scrutiny for being a Trump loyalist, with Democrats and some Republicans viewing him as a potential threat to the federal investigation that is examining ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Whitaker, a U.S. attorney from Iowa, wrote opinion pieces for CNN and The Hill last year in which he advocated for curbing the scope of the special counsel investigation and also mused about how an attorney general could stifle the probe's funding.
Whitaker has since reportedly told associates that he will not take action to hinder the probe or reduce its funding.
Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant MORE (D-Calif.), the current ranking member and expected incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, argued earlier this week that Whitaker has not been transparent with how he plans to handle the Mueller investigation.
– Chris Mills Rodrigo contributed