Matthew Whitaker (lawyer)

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Matt Whitaker
Matthew Whitaker US Attorney.gif
United States Attorney General
Acting
Assumed office
November 7, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Rod Rosenstein
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
June 15, 2004 – November 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Stephen Patrick O'Meara
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Personal details
Born (1969-10-29) October 29, 1969 (age 49)
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Iowa (BA, JD, MBA)

Matthew G. Whitaker (born October 29, 1969) is an American lawyer and Republican politician, former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, and was a candidate in the June 3, 2014 primary election for the Republican nomination for United States Senate election in Iowa. He is currently Acting Attorney General following the resignation of Jeff Sessions.[1]

Education

Whitaker graduated with a Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa's Rose Bowl game in 1991.[2][3]

Career

Whitaker in 2004

Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002. He lost to incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald by 55% to 43%,[4]

On June 15, 2004, Whitaker was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. Whitaker resigned in November 2009 following the appointment and confirmation of Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.[2][5][6]

Whitaker was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United States Senate election in Iowa. The seat was being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. He came fourth in the Republican primary, with 11,909 votes (7.54%). The nomination was won by Joni Ernst, who went on to win the general election.[7]

Afterwards, Matthew was a managing partner of Des Moines-based law firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP (now Hagenow Gustoff and Dummermuth LLP). He was also Executive Director of The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT), a conservative, nonprofit 501(c)(3) "organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas by hanging a lantern over public officials who put their own interests over the interests of the public good."[8]

On October 23, 2014, Whitaker joined the advisory board for World Patent Marketing, a patent assistance organization based out of Miami, Florida and founded in February 2014. He said, "World Patent Marketing has become a trusted partner to many inventors that believe in the American Dream...I have always admired World Patent Marketing and its innovative products and dynamic leadership team. It's an honor to join the World Patent Marketing board."[9] This was re-announced the following week with the title, "Former US Attorney Whitaker Joins World Patent Marketing to Protect Inventors From Patent Marketing Scam", and the statement, "'World Patent Marketing is deeply concerned about the integrity of the patent system,' according to Bill Flanagan, VP of Public Relations for WorldPatentMarketing.com, 'As the fastest growing patent assistance company, it is our responsibility to weed out the bad actors.'"[10] Less than two months later, the company announced his "renewal", and Whitaker stated, "As a former US Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization...World Patent Marketing goes beyond making statements about doing business 'ethically' and translate (sic) those words into action."[11] CEO Scott J. Cooper "gave Whitaker's 2014 Senate campaign a $2,600 donation and paid him nearly $10,000, World Patent Marketing records show."[12] The firm was closed in May 2017 by the Federal Trade Commission for fraud.[13]

Department of Justice

On August 6th, 2017, one month prior to joining the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion column for CNN titled "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far."[14] Then on September 22nd, 2017, a Justice Department official announced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Whitaker to be his Chief of Staff.[15] Then in early September 2018, Whitaker was revealed to be on the short list of President Trump's White House staff as the replacement for Don McGahn as the White House Counsel.[16][17][18] During the commotion created by conflicting reports about Rod Rosenstein's firing, resignation and eventual retention on September 25th, 2018, Whitaker is reported to have told officials that he would assume Rosenstein's duties, while control of the Russia Investigation would fall to the Solicitor General, Noel Francisco.[19] The New York Times reported on September 25, 2018 that White House chief of staff John Kelly advised Whitaker that he would be appointed acting deputy attorney general should Rosenstein exit, and described Whitaker as a Trump loyalist who, if appointed, "could have visibility into the special counsel’s work."[20] In addition to the deputy attorney general role, The Washington Post reported on October 10th, 2018 that President Trump had also spoken with Whitaker about potentially assuming Jeff Sessions role as Attorney General.[21] With the resignation of Jeff Sessions on Nov. 7, 2018, Whitaker will serve as acting Attorney General.

References

  1. CNN Wire, "Jeff Sessions out as attorney general; Matthew Whitaker now acting attorney general", Fox 8, November 7, 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 United States Attorney Announces Resignation, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-01-08. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.hawkeyesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/whitaker_matt00.html
  4. 2002 State Treasurer General Election Results - Iowa
  5. Iowa Southern District U.S. Attorney to Resign, MainJustice.Com, Nov. 6, 2009, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2010-02-06. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefledt Sworn in this Morning, http://www.justice.gov/usao/ias/press_releases/2009/112509.html.
  7. "GOP's Matt Whitaker says he's running for U.S. Senate". Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. http://www.factdc.org
  9. "Former Republican Candidate for the United States Senate Joins World Patent Marketing Advisory Board". Cision PR Newswire. October 23, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Former US Attorney Whitaker Joins World Patent Marketing to Protect Inventors From Patent Marketing Scam". Cision PR Newswire. October 30, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Former US Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker Extends His Membership On The World Patent Marketing Advisory Board". Cision PR Newswire. December 22, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "A Miami Beach Scam Took Millions of Dollars From Thousands of Inventors, Feds Say". Miami New Times. August 22, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "World Patent Marketing". Federal Trade Commission. May 16, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Whitaker, Matthew. "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far". cnn. Retrieved 11 October 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Matt Whitaker Named AG's Chief of Staff". National Association of Former United States Attorneys. October 11, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Price, Dave (September 9, 2018). "Report: Former Iowa Hawkeye Tight End Might Be President Trump's Next Lawyer". WHO TV. Des Moines. Retrieved September 11, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Burris, Sarah K. (September 9, 2018). "Donald Trump is 'bluffing' when he claims he knows who the next White House counsel will be: Axios". Raw Story. Retrieved September 11, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Swan, Jonathan (September 9, 2018). "Scoop: Inside Trump's biggest hire". Axios. Retrieved September 11, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Zapotosky, Matt; Devlin, Barrett; Dawsey, Josh (26 September 2018). "Rod Rosenstein's departure was imminent. Now he is likely to survive until after the midterms, officials say". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 September 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/us/politics/matthew-whitaker-justice-department.html
  21. Zapotosky, Matt; Dawsey, Josh (11 October 2018). "Trump talked with Jeff Sessions's own chief of staff about replacing him as attorney general". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 October 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Stephen Patrick O'Meara
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
2004-2009
Succeeded by
Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Preceded by
Jeff Sessions
United States Attorney General
Acting

2018-present
Incumbent