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 CummingsDem lawmaker: 'Quite clear' Trump committed impeachable offenses Cummings on impeachment: 'We may very well come to that' Democrats should be careful wielding more investigations 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 TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE pressured Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Memo: Mueller's depictions will fuel Trump angst Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump Trump frustrated with aides who talked to Mueller 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 SchiffDem lawmaker: 'Quite clear' Trump committed impeachable offenses Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars 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