Matthew Whitaker, acting U.S. attorney general, speaks during a meeting with local law enforcement officers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Trump DOJ Chief Whitaker Received $900,000 From Right-Wing Group

(Bloomberg) -- Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was paid more than $900,000 by a conservative non-profit in the 21 months before joining the Justice Department, according to his financial disclosure form released Tuesday.

The documents make clear that Whitaker’s main income in the years immediately before Trump’s election came from his role as the executive director of a nonprofit called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, which he joined in 2014.

Financed by a conservative megafund whose donors are undisclosed, FACT hired right-leaning firms for publicity and legal services. At the group, Whitaker oversaw attacks on several of Trump’s favorite targets, including Democrats Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.

Whitaker also disclosed receiving $15,000 from CNN for media appearances and "consulting fees," as well as a salary of $103,400 from his own law and consulting firm. He reported earning $1,875 in legal fees from World Patent Marketing, a Florida-based company accused by U.S. regulators last year of bilking consumers out of millions of dollars.

The form offers the first formal insight into Whitaker’s legal and financial background since he was installed as acting attorney general by President Donald Trump on Nov. 7. Whitaker had previously served for 13 months as the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump forced out.

Whitaker filed his financial disclosure form as required when worked for Sessions, but it has been going through revisions based on reviews by Justice Department ethics officials, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Whitaker was hired to be chief of staff to Sessions in September 2017. Federal ethics regulations require agencies to make financial disclosure reports available to the public within 30 days after they’re filed.

The form was released after critics -- including top House Democrats who will take over control of key committees in January -- demanded that the Justice Department make it public.

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