Schiff: Whitaker not telling Congress his intentions on Mueller

Schiff: Whitaker not telling Congress his intentions on Mueller
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffMcConnell, White House lawyer huddle on impeachment strategy House GOP lawmaker wants Senate to hold 'authentic' impeachment trial Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), the current ranking member and incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said the new acting attorney general at the Justice Department is not being transparent.

“Fact of the matter is that he's not telegraphing what he's doing,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He's not telling us or anyone, at least in Congress.”

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Democrats have raised concerns that Matthew Whitaker, whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE appointed to the role earlier this month, wants to shut down Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE’s investigation. The special counsel is probing Russian election interference and alleged collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin.

Whitaker has criticized the probe in the past, prompting Schiff and other Democrats to call for him to recuse himself from the investigation.

But Schiff said on Sunday that Whitaker has not communicated his plans to concerned members of Congress.

“I don't know what steps he has taken, whether he is merely getting briefed now and deliberating on whether he will allow Mueller to subpoena the president or whether he will allow Mueller to look into this issue or giving Mueller a time when he needs to wrap up his investigation,” Schiff told CNN host Dana Bash. “We certainly don't know. I'll tell you this, Dana, we're going to find out.”

Schiff also threatened to haul Whitaker in to testify before his committee in the next Congress.

“We are going to bring Whitaker before the Congress, assuming he's still in his position at the time when Democrats take over,” he said. “We may bring him in whether he's in that position or not, to find out the answers to these questions.”

Whitaker has reportedly told associates that he won't cut Mueller’s budget. Mueller told a court last week that Whitaker’s appointment has “no effect” on his ongoing investigation.