Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s net worth is estimated at $17 million, according to FinApp’s analysis of his financial disclosures.
Whitaker, 48, was appointed to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November 2018 on an acting basis. He previously served as Sessions’ chief of staff. He was also the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa between 2004 and 2009.
Prior to becoming Sessions’ chief of staff in 2017, he worked as a legal consultant and a CNN analyst.
His financial disclosure shows that he received $15,000 in “consulting fees” from CNN/Time Warner, where he often used his appearances to criticize special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation.
His disclosure also showed that he was paid more than $1.2 million over several years by a conservative group that does not reveal its donors.
Whitaker also earned at least $103,000 from a law firm where he was a partner since 2016.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Matthew Whitaker Was a Prosecutor and Private Attorney Before Becoming Acting AG
Whitaker was named appointed as acting Attorney General of the United States in November 2018. As an acting head, he is only allowed to serve up to 210. President Trump has nominated former George H. W. Bush Attorney General Bill Barr to be his next attorney general.
Whitaker previously served for a year as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff.
In 2004, he was appointed as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush, where he served until November 2009.
He unsuccessfully ran for Iowa state treasurer in 2002 and for the US Senate in 2014, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Prior to returning to the Department of Justice in 2017, Whitaker worked as an analyst for CNN and as a legal consultant to several companies.
From 2009 to 2017, he was a managing partner at Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP, a law firm in Des Moines, Iowa.
He also sat on the board of World Patent Marketing, a patent assistance firm, that was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission for Fraud.
2. Whitaker Was Involved With Firm That Was Shut Down and Fined $26 Million
Whitaker joined the board of World Parent Marketing in 2014. The company was accused by the Federal Trade Commission of fraud and later settled with the FTC for nearly $26 million earlier this year.
Whitaker, who earned $9,375 for being on the company’s advisory board, was not named in the complaint but Reuters reports that he was aware of the fraud allegations against the company and failed to respond to investigators attempts to contact him.
After the FTC won a preliminary injunction against the company in October 2017, an FTC lawyer emailed a colleague to say, “You’re not going to believe this. … Matt Whitaker is now chief of staff to the Attorney General of the United States.”
3. Whitaker Earned $1.2 Million From a Group That Doesn’t Disclose Its Donors
Between October 2014 and September 2017, Whitaker served as the executive director of Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a conservative group that does not disclose its donors. The group has called for investigations into numerous Democrats, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Joaquin Castro.
Whitaker earned $1.2 million from the group, The New York Times reported, adding that Whitaker’s salary was the single biggest expense for the group, which has raised $3.5 million since its inception in 2014.
The group also paid nearly $914,000 to Republican opposition research firm America Rising and conservative public relations firm Creative Response Concepts.
4. Whitaker Was Paid $15,000 by CNN, Where He Criticized The Mueller Probe
Whitaker was paid $15,000 by CNN/Time Warner in “consulting fees,” his financial disclosure showed.
While at CNN, Whitaker repeatedly criticized the Mueller probe.
In a 2017 op-ed on CNN.com, Whitaker argued that Mueller was “dangerously close to crossing” a red line by looking into Trump’s finances, arguing that Mueller did not have “broad, far-reaching powers in this investigation.
“It is time for Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation, to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel,” he wrote then. “If he doesn’t, then Mueller’s investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition.”
In an appearance on CNN, Whitaker told host Don Lemon that Sessions could be replaced with another attorney general who “reduces (Mueller’s) budget so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”
5. Whitaker’s Net Worth is Estimated at $17 Million
According to his financial disclosure, Whitaker, who is married to engineer Marci Whitaker, owns two homes worth $5 million.
He recently bought a Range Rover worth $200,000. He also owns a Mercedes GLS, Ford Fusion and a Jaguar F-Pace.
The couple, who met at Ankeny High School where Whitaker was a football player, has three children.
He owned a daycare business and a trailer company in Iowa, local media reported in 2013.
Marci Whitaker works at MC2H20, an Iowa based water treatment company. She earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa and worked for several engineering companies in Iowa and Minnesota.