Top Judiciary Dem threatens to subpoena acting AG Whitaker

Top Judiciary Dem threatens to subpoena acting AG Whitaker
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that the House Judiciary Committee will subpoena acting Attorney General Matt WhitakerMatthew G WhitakerEx-federal prosecutor: 'Thank God' Whitaker is gone, Barr will bring 'integrity' back to DOJ GOP pollster says Dems are relitigating 2016 election with investigations of Trump Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ MORE in January if he won't voluntarily testify in front of the committee.

Nadler, the ranking member and likely next chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the committee will hold hearings on Trump's appointment of Whitaker when the new Congress takes office.

Nadler added that the "very first witness" the committee will interview will be Whitaker.

"The president’s dismissal of Attorney General Sessions and his appointment of Whitaker, who’s a complete political lackey, is a real threat to the integrity of that investigation," he said of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's ongoing probe into Russia's election interference.

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"[The Mueller investigation] is of utmost importance in making sure that we adhere to the rule of law and that the administration is held accountable. And we will certainly hold hearings on that. Our very first witness after Jan. 3, we will subpoena — or we will summon and if necessary subpoena Mr. Whitaker," Nadler added.

Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE resigned last week from his post as attorney general at the request of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE, who then appointed Whitaker as acting attorney general.

The appointment has been harshly criticized by Democrats, who have expressed concerns over Whitaker's history of criticizing Mueller's investigation.

Whitaker previously said that the Mueller investigation has "gone too far" and suggested that a replacement for Sessions should slash funding for Mueller's investigation in an effort to hinder it. 

Nadler said Sunday on "State of the Union" that the Judiciary Committee plans to question Whitaker about each of his past comments regarding the investigation he now oversees.