After threats of subpoena, acting attorney general Whitaker to testify on Hill next month

PHOTO: Matt Whitaker is interviewed at Roll Call office in Washington, D.C.PlayDouglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call,Inc./Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Oversight of Mueller probe being handled 'appropriately' under Whitaker: Rosenstein

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 8, committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, said in a letter released Tuesday.

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Democrats had threatened to subpoena Whitaker to compel his appearance, after accusing him of working to avoid public testimony until the confirmation of William Barr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general.

PHOTO: Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends the annual Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2018. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends the annual Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2018.

In a letter to Whitaker on Tuesday, Nadler wrote that he expected the acting attorney general to “appear on February 8 whether or not the current lapse in appropriations has been resolved, and whether or not the Senate has confirmed a new Attorney General.”

The Justice Department confirmed that Whitaker agreed to the date.

Democrats have expressed concerns about Whitaker’s public comments about the Mueller investigation, and whether he has influenced the special counsel’s probe at President Trump’s direction.

Whitaker decided not to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe late last year, despite at least one senior department ethics official telling colleagues he would recommend Whitaker do so.

Meanwhile, Barr appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday for his first day of confirmation hearings. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the opportunity to question Barr extensively about the Mueller investigation, among other topics of interest.