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Schiff: Acting AG 'will be called to answer' if he interferes with Mueller investigation

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse Democrats want to silence opposing views, not 'fake news' White House defends not sanctioning Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that there are "very strong" facts that indicate acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's investigation, and pledged to hold Whitaker accountable if it's found he made any commitment to President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE regarding the probe.

"It seems to me the facts for recusal are very strong here," Schiff said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"This is someone who's made repeated and prejudicial comments against the investigation," he continued. "Someone who has made false statements about it, claiming that the Russians really had no impact on our election. It's someone who has a relationship with one of the important witnesses in the investigation."

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Schiff said if Whitaker does not recuse himself, Democrats will use their newfound majority to press him on any role he plays in influencing the investigation.

"If he has any involvement whatsoever in this Russia probe, we are going to find out whether he made commitments to the president about the probe, whether he is serving as a back channel to the president or his lawyers about the probe, whether he's doing anything to interfere with the probe," Schiff said. "Mr. Whitaker needs to understand that he will be called to answer."

He added that he's unsure whether Whitaker is constitutionally eligible to hold the position, echoing concerns from other Democrats and legal experts.

Trump appointed Whitaker on Wednesday to take over for former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Manchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE. Trump had been openly critical of the former Alabama senator, particularly over his decision to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation.

Whitaker has written opinion columns for The Hill and CNN advocating for curbing the scope of the Mueller investigation, and suggesting stifling its funding. His appointment as acting attorney general has revived calls from Democrats to protect Mueller's investigation.