U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton reiterated Thursday that he will remain engaged at the helm of the Wall Street regulator as Democrats pressed him about his pending nomination to become the top federal prosecutor job in New York.

“I am fully committed and focused on my role at the SEC,” Clayton told members of a House Financial Services subcommittee. He declined to address in detail how he would approach the U.S. attorney job, saying it was “way down the road.”

Clayton’s potential appointment surprised many and ignited a political furor when it was announced late Friday. The then-sitting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was overseeing probes of some of President Donald Trump’s close associates, initially refused to step down.

The SEC chief did shed some light on the chaotic process surrounding the events, telling lawmakers that seeking the job “was entirely my idea” and that he had initial discussions with the Trump administration about the new role the weekend before the announcement. That was around the same time that he golfed with Trump at the president’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Asked about being a “golfing buddy” of Trump’s, Clayton said he couldn’t reveal private conversations with the president. But he said they had never had a discussion that made him “in any way uncomfortable” about his independence as a regulator.

Representative Brad Sherman, the California Democrat who led the hearing that was nominally about emergency lending in the Covid-19 era, echoed most of his colleagues on the panel when he urged Clayton to withdraw his name from consideration for the prosecutor job, saying it “weakens your gravitas with regard to the SEC.”

Clayton, who wore a mask during his in-person testimony, refused to say whether as U.S. attorney he would step aside from cases involving Trump’s interests.

“This is not a confirmation hearing,” he said. “I am here as chairman of the SEC.”

He said he would conduct himself with “independence” and “follow all ethical rules,” as he does at the SEC, but that did little to mollify his Democratic questioners.

“The reality is that you are before Congress,” said Representative Sylvia Garcia of Texas. “When you are a potential nominee or you’re a nominee, it’s all fair game. And the people have a right to know.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.