House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has responded to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s threat to not appear before the committee tomorrow morning, writing in a letter that if he responds to questions there would be no need for a subpoena. “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 the subpoena on or before February 8,” Nadler wrote. On Thursday afternoon, the Justice Department wrote a letter to the committee stating that Whitaker would not testify in front of the committee unless Nadler promised not to subpoena him. The letter came after the House Judiciary Committee had agreed to give Nadler the authority to subpoena Whitaker, which the DOJ claimed was an effort “to transform the hearing into a public spectacle.” DOJ also informed the committee that Whitaker would refuse to answer some of the committee’s questions due to “executive privilege.”
Later Thursday evening, DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed that Whitaker would be appearing to testify on Friday morning. “[T]he Chairman has made the commitment that we requested, and agreed that, if Mr. Whitaker voluntarily appears at tomorrow's hearing, the Committee will not issue a subpoena on of before February 8,” Kupec said in a statement.