Nadler: I'm ending investigation into FBI, DOJ when I become chairman

The Democrat poised to lead the House Judiciary Committee next year says he has no intention of continuing the GOP-led investigation into FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) decisionmaking during the 2016 election.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who stepped outside of the ongoing closed-door interview with former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump on possible Roger Stone pardon: 'His prayer may be answered' How conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed MORE, told reporters Friday that he plans to end the probe come January.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Yes, because it is a waste of time to start with," Nadler said in response to a question about whether he would end the probe. Nadler characterized the Republican investigation as a political sideshow that aims to distract from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"The entire purpose of this investigation is to be a diversion of the real investigation, which is Mueller. There is no evidence of bias at the FBI and this other nonsense they are talking about," he continued.

GOP lawmakers say they are seeking to unravel what they allege is evidence of political bias against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE by the top brass at the FBI and DOJ during the election.

Comey, the latest in a series of current and former FBI and DOJ witnesses Republicans wrangled to testify as part of the joint Judiciary-House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation, has long been a target for his actions during the 2016 presidential race. 

The former FBI chief and other top officials at the bureau came under heavy scrutiny earlier this year after a DOJ watchdog issued a scathing report about Comey and other officials' judgment during the heated presidential race in relation to the investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Wells Fargo tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones | Google, Facebook join legal challenge to ICE foreign students rule | House Republican introduces bills to bolster federal cybersecurity Biden lets Trump be Trump 4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch MORE's email server and the Russia probe.

GOP lawmakers are also seeking to interview former Attorney General Loretta Lynch before Democrats take hold of committee gavels, although the exact timing remains unclear, a committee aide told The Hill on Thursday.

Nadler also told reporters that, while he just learned about Trump's nomination of William Barr to serve as attorney general — a role Barr previously held under George H.W. Bush's administration — and while the confirmation process for Barr is still a ways off, he still has "lots of questions" for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

"The real question now is Whitaker, [who] is still the acting attorney general," Nadler said.

The top Democrat pointed to critical remarks Whitaker made about Mueller's investigation before joining the DOJ, stating that he believes it is "unconstitutional" Whitaker could take the interim role without going through the Senate confirmation process.

Democrats have pushed for Whitaker, the top official overseeing Mueller's probe, to appear before Congress to testify about his remarks. And just last week, House Democrats announced that they have secured an interview with Whitaker for sometime in January.