Acting U.S. Attorney Gen Whitaker to testify before House panel on Friday

FILE PHOTO: Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whittaker arrives inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for a ceremony honoring late former U.S. President George H. W. Bush in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on Thursday that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will testify on Friday, after he threatened not to show up following the panel’s warning that it could subpoena him.

The committee’s Democrats want to question Whitaker about his oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and his communications with the White House related to the probe and the firing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Department of Justice confirmed Thursday evening that Whitaker will appear, because Nadler has agreed not to subpoena him on or before Feb. 8 if he came voluntarily, DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.

“In light of that commitment, Acting Attorney General Whitaker looks forward to voluntarily appearing at tomorrow’s hearing and discussing the great work of the Department of Justice.”

Reporting by Eric Beech and Rich McKay; Editing by David Alexander and Hugh Lawson