Instead of answering the Chairman's question, Whitaker pointed out that his time was up.
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel, called the subpoena authorization "political theater" before the vote.
"Bring your popcorn", he said.
In a letter to Whitaker, Nadler withdrew the subpoena threat after the acting attorney agreed to attend the hearing.
But after Collins raised the claim that CNN had been tipped off of the arrest by federal authorities, Whitaker said he did not "know of any other special counsel's office notice or DOJ notice to media outlets of Mr".
Political drama erupted on Thursday when Democrats threatened to serve Whitaker a subpoena if he failed to answer certain questions at the hearing.
Mr Whitaker, who oversees the special counsel's inquiry into alleged Trump campaign ties with Russian Federation, was grilled by lawmakers in a hearing on Friday. "I gotta tell you, I say that with sadness, because the attorney general role is America's lawyer. The official report will go directly to the Department of Justice".
"Mr. Attorney General, we're not joking here, and your humor is not acceptable", Jackson Lee said.
He was asked whether he thought the special counsel was honest. I hope you took your oath very, very seriously.
Republicans repeatedly tried to divert the discussion from the topic of the special counsel, instead trying to focus on other functions of the Justice Department. The rules are that you are here, so I need to ask the question and I need to have my time restored so that you can behave appropriately.More news: Baseball legend Frank Robinson dies and social media cries
Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, asked Whitaker to explain what was in the "scoping memo" that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote about the Mueller investigation in August 2017.
Whitaker said he'd read the memo.
But the antagonism between House Democrats and Whitaker was on full display throughout the hearing on Friday.
Pressed by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., to tell Trump that Mueller is "honest", Whitaker replied: "I am not here to be a puppet to repeat terms and words that you say".
Trump's permanent pick for attorney general, William Barr, has said he does not believe Mueller would be involved in a "witch hunt". He criticized the committee for prematurely and unnecessarily authorizing a subpoena for him even though he had agreed to appear. This came after the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler informed Whitaker that the committee would not subpoena him as long as he shows up and is prepared to respond to their inquiries.
Raising his voice, Raskin cut off Whitaker before he could continue.
Whitaker opened the House Judiciary Committee hearing by saying he would be citing executive privilege in response to some questions, and he certainly lived up to that promise.
Democrats have expressed concerns about Whitaker's previous partisan statements about the Mueller probe, his resumé and not being in the line of succession to succeed Jeff Sessions.
The most memorable exchange was with the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).