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 (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report MORE's probe, for sometime in January.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question White House to block Conway from testifying over alleged Hatch Act violations 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 TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE pressured Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' Time magazine: Trump threatened reporter with prison time 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 SchiffTop Democrat accuses White House of obstructing review related to Trump-Putin communications Schiff would support impeachment if White House ignores a final court decision on documents, testimony US finds itself isolated in Iran conflict 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