7 Alarming Facts About Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker

Good news for those who aren’t fans of Jeff Sessions: He resigned from his position as attorney general of the United States on Wednesday, November 7, the day after the midterm elections.

Bad news: Now Donald Trump gets to appoint a replacement — and, for the time being, Sessions’ former chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, has leapfrogged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to serve as acting attorney general.

A permanent appointment would require Senate confirmation, but in the meantime, Whitaker will be calling the shots at the Justice Department.

If you’re thinking “Matt who?” or “wait, yet another revolving door in the Trump cabinet?” you’re not alone. I rounded up some fast facts about Whitaker, so you can be informed about the man who will be charged with enforcing civil rights and managing federal criminal investigations — including the probe into Trump’s connection with Russia.

1. He Met With Trump About Replacing Sessions — Before Sessions Resigned

According to the Washington Post, the president met with Whitaker and discussed the possibility of replacing Sessions. Trump has expressed increasing unhappiness with Sessions’ performance in recent months, making a pushout nearly a foregone conclusion — just as this meeting seems to suggest.

2. He Has Quite the Resume

Whitaker was on the board of a company that Trump’s FTC shut down for scamming. He also ran two failed political campaigns, served as a U.S. attorney in Iowa and was the executive director of a dark money-funded organization that harassed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

3. He Opposes the Mueller Investigation

Whitaker penned an op-ed for CNN, in which he accused Mueller of “going too far.” He’s also characterized the investigation as a “witch hunt” and suggested that the Department of Justice could shut down the investigation by choking off its funding.

4. He Supports Religious Imposition Laws

Like many white evangelical Christians, Whitaker supports “religious liberty” — for white evangelical Christians only, of course. That makes him a good fit for the Trump administration, which loves “right to discriminate” laws that favor Christians.

Whitaker wants judges with a “Biblical view of justice,” a clear violation of the Constitution. He also has deep ties to white evangelical groups.

5. He Doesn’t Think Homophobia is Hate Speech

Backed by the Liberty Institute, Whitaker once defended a man who was fired for writing homophobic blog postings. He argued that the dismissal abridged the man’s free speech and claimed that the case showed “religious freedom is under assault.”

6. He Believes Life Begins at Conception

Whitaker has described himself as “100 percent pro-life,” highlighting the anti-choice camp embedded within the Trump administration. With a challenge to Roe v. Wade likely in the near future, having cabinet members who are actively hostile to reproductive freedom doesn’t bode well for bodily autonomy.

7. He Favors Racist Immigration and Crime Policy

Just like other Trump administration officials, Whitaker follows the president’s lead on issues like immigration and criminal justice. Racist attitudes about crime are particularly worrying for the Department of Justice, which isn’t just charged with prosecuting federal crimes. It’s also responsible for investigating civil rights violations like police brutality, and working with police forces across the country on issues like racial profiling.

What You Can Do

If you’re worried about this Cabinet shake-up, you’re not alone or without options to speak out. You can start by calling your senators and asking them to request that Trump furnish a formal nomination so they can conduct hearings and vote as a body to confirm that person as Attorney General.

You can also ask your senators to apply pressure; given Whitaker’s biased comments, it’s clear he should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. If he refuses to do so, that should be grounds for demanding that he step down so the president can appoint someone better-suited to the role.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Chad A
Chad Anderson5 months ago

Thank you.

Susanne R
Susanne R5 months ago

Our country's Attorney General is one of the four most important Cabinet officials in the United States. Let's find hope in the fact that Whitaker was NOT approved by the Senate --which may very well make his appointment null and void. It's obvious to everyone that he was appointed by trump to save trump's ass from Mueller's investigation. Whitaker has been making bold statements on behalf of trump for some time now, and trump has been speaking highly of Whitaker for some time now, yet trump denied knowing him after he appointed him. Thank the Lord for videotapes...

Jan K
Jan S5 months ago


Barbara B
Barbara B5 months ago

When is that swamp going to be drained?

john c
john casablanca5 months ago

Joan E. - the reason you never heard of Comrade, Don, the Con being called "Mafia Don" is that they require leaders, something that the present POTUS - IS NOT !!!
John C./Houston, Tx.

Freya H
Freya H5 months ago

Did tRump dig Whitaker out of his diaper, or what? I'd trust Al Capone more than I trust Whitaker. If he's confirmed - better start shmoozing your friends who live overseas. Or, better yet, prepare to stay and fight!

hELEN h5 months ago


Kenny Wes
Kenny Wes5 months ago

What a knob, I can't believe how stupid this administration is. Did you hear his argument for Christian values on the courts?

Carole R
Carole R5 months ago

Bad news.

sandy Gardner
sandy Gardner5 months ago

What a dangerous man to hold this office. Mueller You need to get your information published Now!