Due to his conflicts of interest and ethical failures, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker needs to recuse himself from supervising Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Given Whitaker’s visit to Iowa today, Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley should take this opportunity to put partisanship aside and support these calls for the sake of our democracy.
“Iowa Republicans need to find their spines and stand up for our democracy. Matt Whitaker’s oversight of the Mueller investigation is a threat to its integrity and the integrity of our Justice System as a whole. We are calling on Senators Grassley and Ernst to rise to the moment and do the right thing for our state and our country,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Whitaker ran as a Republican against Senator Joni Ernst in 2014, and after his loss, went on to serve as the campaign director Sam Clovis’ State Treasurer run. His relationship with Clovis is where serious questions come in to play about his credibility.
As the Des Moines Register points out, “Clovis later served as a co-chair of Trump’s presidential campaign and encouraged staffer George Papadopoulos to pursue a meeting with Russian officials.”
Sam Clovis is now under investigation as part of the Mueller probe, which his former political ally Matt Whitaker is set to oversee. Those relationships should not be discounted and provide ample evidence that Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation.
The case for Whitaker’s recusal is further bolstered by the fact that he has already publicly shown his intention to limit the Mueller investigation and deny the American people their right to an honest assessment of serious threats to our Democracy.
Senator Matt McCoy
As a U.S. Attorney in Iowa, Whitaker led a politically motivated witch hunt that targeted Democratic lawmakers. His blatant partisanship invited scrutiny over an investigation in to Senator Matt McCoy.
The investigation was so bungled and unethical, McCoy was acquitted by the jury in under 30 minutes.
The case not only unfairly targeted a public official for purely political reasons, it undermined trust in Whitaker’s office.
Whitaker was a paid advisory board member for a company that scammed US military veterans out of their life savings, demonstrating a worrying lack of respect for our servicemembers and our democracy.
The company Whitaker worked for, World Patent Marketing (WPM), was recently ordered to pay authorities $26 million. According to the Guardian, many veterans, including those with disabilities, lost tens of thousands of dollars to Whitaker’s scam.
Misuse of Iowa Tax Dollars
Yesterday, the Associated Press uncovered that just two years ago Whitaker cost Iowans thousands on a horribly mismanaged taxpayer-subsidized real estate project. Whitaker defaulted on a loan for nearly $700,000 and contractors complained that they were not paid. One even tried to sue Whitaker but could not track him down.