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House Panel to Vote on Subpoena for Acting Attorney General

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, left, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, at the Justice Department in Washington.

The head of the House Judiciary Committee says he will hold a vote Thursday to approve a subpoena for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker just in case he doesn't show up for scheduled testimony a day later.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says he is holding the vote "in an abundance of caution" to ensure that Whitaker appears and "answers our questions cleanly."

Whitaker is scheduled to testify before the panel Friday even as the Senate is close to confirming President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr. Democrats have said they want to talk to Whitaker because he is a close ally of Trump who has criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Whitaker is currently overseeing that probe.

The Justice Department has said Whitaker agreed to appear voluntarily.