Political News

Whitaker disclosures reveal more than $900,000 in payments from conservative group

Posted November 20, 2018 6:40 p.m. EST

— Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker corrected his financial disclosure forms five times after being appointed to the top Justice Department role earlier this month, according to the forms, which were released Tuesday.

Revisions to disclosure filings are not uncommon, but the release of Whitaker's forms comes after the acting attorney general came under fire from ethics experts, who said requests for the documents had gone unfulfilled.

The forms show that in the months before then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions hired him as chief of staff in 2017, Whitaker was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary from a conservative oversight group he founded in 2014.

Financial records show that The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, received nearly all of its funding from a group called DonorsTrust, whose contributors are mostly anonymous but are known to include major Republican donor Charles Koch.

Whitaker was paid a total of $904,000 over 2016 and most of 2017, according to his first disclosure form.

CNN has previously reported that Whitaker made a total of $717,000 while working for FACT from 2014 to 2016. This figure covers some of the same period reflected in Whitaker's newly released financial disclosure form.

Whitaker's financial disclosure documents were provided to CNN by the Justice Department and American Oversight, an outside ethics watchdog group.

Whitaker also made $15,000 as a legal commentator for CNN in 2017.

In a letter sent to the US Office of Government Ethics last Friday, American Oversight said the Department of Justice had not produced a copy of Whitaker's public financial disclosure reports, despite regulations requiring it to do so, and asked the ethics agency to investigate.

American Oversight on Monday also released work-related emails sent by first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump from a personal email account.