Matthew G. Whitaker is the former acting Attorney General of the United States (2018 2019) serving
between AG Jeff Sessions and AG Bill 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 Stat es, handling federal forfeiture actions, and
collecting debts and restitution.
While US Attorney, Whitaker served o n 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 working on mergers and acquisitions . In 2001, Whitaker 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 201 4, Whitaker began a three year tenure as Executive Director of the Foundation for
Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), an ethics and accountability watchdog, in Washington DC. In
2017, Whitaker was also a contributor for CNN, appearing often to discuss the legal issues of the
moment and now appears regularly on Fox News, Newsmax and other outlets.
Mr. Whitaker is of counsel at Graves Garrett law firm.
While at the University of Iowa, Whitaker was a tight end on the 1990 Big Ten Champion football team
and played in the 1991 Rose Bowl game versus Washington and the 1991 Holiday Bowl versus BYU.
During his time as a student athlete, Whitaker earned academic All Big Ten honors in 1990, 1991, and
1992. Whitaker also received the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1992. The Big Ten’s oldest
award, the Medal of Honor, first awarded in 1914, is given annually to one student in the graduating
class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics.