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 CummingsLeading contenders emerge to replace Zinke as Interior secretary Comey rips Trump, GOP over 'lying' Incoming House Oversight Committee chairman: First hearing will not be 'what a lot of people expect' 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 TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE pressured Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPresidential historian: Trump's actions may be 'definition of treason' if he knew about Russian interference efforts Trump admin seeks to roll back Obama-era policy on school discipline: report Trump: Sessions 'should be ashamed of himself' for allowing Russia probe to proceed 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 SchiffSchiff calls on Flynn to testify before House Intelligence Committee Stone admits to publishing false statements on InfoWars Trump White House preparing for 'knock-down, drag-out fight' with new House: report 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