WATCH LIVE: Acting Attorney General Whitaker Faces House Judiciary Committee
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker might not get a cordial welcome on Friday from the House Judiciary Committee — but at least he may show up.
The interim boss of the Justice Department looked as though he might appear after trading salvos with the House panel's Democratic chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., about the conditions under which he would testify.
Whitaker was willing to travel up to Capitol Hill and talk to lawmakers voluntarily, the Justice Department said — but not under subpoena, and he demanded a guarantee on Thursday that Nadler not slap him with a subpoena at the hearing in the event he didn't answer a question.
Nadler, had threatened to do just that if committee members didn't get answers to questions they wanted; Democrats, who make up the panel's majority, voted to authorize a subpoena if necessary.
Ultimately, the Democrats said they'd hold off, so long as Whitaker were prepared to appear before the Judiciary Committee on Friday morning.
"If you appear before the committee tomorrow morning and if you are prepared to respond to questions from our members, then I assure you that there will be no need for the committee to issue a subpoena on or before February 8," Nadler wrote.
"To the extent that you believe you are unable to fully respond to any specific question, we are prepared to handle your concerns on a case-by-case basis, both during and after tomorrow's hearing."