Dems say Whitaker will appear before House panel in January

House Democrats announced Friday that they have secured an interview with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the top official overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe, for sometime in January.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse chairman: Trump lawyers may have given false info about Cohen payments Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump 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. 

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"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 John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE pressured Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war McCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' 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 SchiffOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Hillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union 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