Matthew G. Whitaker is the former acting Attorney General of the United States (2018-2019) serving between AG Sessions and AG Barr. During his tenure as acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice focused on reducing violent crime and arresting the opioid epidemic, in addition to combating terrorism and other department priorities. Whitaker signed the automatic weapons bump stock ban and supervised the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Prior to becoming Acting Attorney General, Mr. Whitaker served as Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Whitaker had previously served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 2004 to 2009 where he obtained invaluable insight and experience regarding the enforcement of federal crimes including mail and wire fraud, public corruption, child pornography, firearms violations,drug trafficking, corporate fraud, and terrorism financing. In addition,Whitaker was responsible for defending civil lawsuits brought against the United States, handling federal forfeiture actions, and collecting debts and restitution.
While US Attorney, Whitaker served on the Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a group of 30 United States Attorneys across the country focusing on the Department of Justice’s efforts against drug trafficking. Additionally, he was a member of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee and the White Collar Crime Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.
Following graduation from the University of Iowa in 1995, Whitaker moved to the Twin Cities and worked for the law firm of Briggs & Morgan. In 1998, Whitaker joined a Fortune 100 company, as corporate counsel. In 2001, Whitaker and his family moved back to Iowa and he joined the law firm of Finely Alt Smith where he remained until his appointment as United States Attorney. In 2002,Whitaker ran for State Treasurer of Iowa. Whitaker received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 1991. In 1995, he graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in addition to earning his Master of Business Administration. In 2009, Whitaker formed the law firm of Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids Iowa representing businesses and individuals in complex criminal and civil matters. After running for US Senate in 2014, Whitaker began a three-year tenure as Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) in Washington DC. In 2017, Whitaker was also a contributor for CNN, appearing often to discuss the legal issues of the moment.