Matthew Whitaker to Testify Before Democratic-Led House Panel in January

(Bloomberg) -- Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will testify in January before a House panel controlled by Democrats who have raised concerns that he might end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling.

"This afternoon, acting Attorney General Whitaker committed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee in January at a mutually agreeable date, which we look forward to," said likely incoming Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York and likely Oversight incoming Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, in a joint statement.

Whitaker was picked by President Donald Trump as the acting attorney general after the president forced out Jeff Sessions earlier this month. Trump hasn’t said when he’ll pick a permanent replacement for Whitaker, who is overseeing Mueller and his probe.

The statement also said that Whitaker “affirmed that he was and will continue to follow all of the regulations, policies and procedures of the Department of Justice, including with regards to the Special Counsel investigation."

Nadler’s spokesman Daniel Schwarz said the appearance before the Judiciary Committee would be a public hearing.

Whitaker’s appointment has prompted Democrats to push for legislation to protect Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Whitaker has previously criticized the Mueller inquiry and had outlined last year how an acting attorney general could defund it.

Trump, who has regularly blasted Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Nov. 7 and named Whitaker acting attorney general.

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