Before joining the Trump administration, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker led a group called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, which one board member said “only existed on paper.”
In three years after he arrived in Washington in 2014, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker received more than $1.2 million as the leader of a charity that reported having no other employees, reports the Washington Post. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) described itself as a new watchdog nonprofit dedicated to exposing unethical conduct by public officials. For Whitaker, it became a lucrative steppingstone in a swift rise from a modest law practice in Iowa to the nation’s top law enforcement job. As FACT’s president, he appeared on radio and television, often to skewer liberals. FACT’s origins and the source of funding used to pay Whitaker are unclear. The group is part of a national network of nonprofits that often work in concert to amplify conservative messages.
Contrary to its claims in news releases and a tax filing, the group was created under a different name two years before Whitaker’s arrival. In its application to the IRS for status as a tax-exempt organization, the organizers said the group would study the impact of environmental regulations on businesses. In that incarnation, the group took no action and “only existed on paper,” said one man named in IRS filings as a board member. FACT said that it “does not and is not required to release its donor information.” When the nonprofit was launched in 2012, Whitaker was a former U.S. Attorney with a modest legal practice in Iowa that paid him $79,000 that year. He also had several local side businesses, including a day-care center and a trailer manufacturer.