Robert Mueller could be subpoenaed by Congress if the Trump Justice Department prematurely ends the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Sunday.
“We could subpoena the final report. We could subpoena Mueller and ask him in front of the committee ‘what was in your final report?’” Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Nadler will take over as chairman of the House judiciary panel in January.
Nadler and his fellow Democrats have expressed concern that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will stifle Mueller’s investigation, which is reportedly in its final phases. Mueller and his team have reportedly started writing a final report of the investigation, which has lasted 18 months.
WATCH: New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler says he ‘could subpoena Mueller’:
Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general after Jeff Sessions was forced to resign on Wednesday. President Donald Trump had for months railed against Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was overseeing the investigation prior to Whitaker’s appointment.
Whitaker, who served as Sessions’s chief of staff, has previously criticized aspects of the Mueller probe. As the executive director of a conservative non-profit in 2017, he argued the investigation would cross a “red line” if it ventured into Trump’s finances. A former U.S. attorney from Iowa, Whitaker also suggested that the special counsel’s probe could be ended by cutting off its funding.
Nadler said that one of the Judiciary Committee’s first acts of business under Democratic leadership will be to force Whitaker to testify before the panel.
“We will make sure that Matt Whitaker immediately — one of our first orders of business will be to invite him, and if necessary to subpoena him … to appear before the committee,” Nadler told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.
“His appointment is simply part of an attack on the investigation by Robert Mueller,” said Nadler, who was one of seven Democrats who sent a letter Sunday to the Justice Department’s top ethics officialasking whether Whitaker had been advised to recuse himself from the Mueller inquiry.