Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, who took over the Justice Department as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement for Sessions is nominated, previously worked for a nonprofit organization where his salary was paid by dark money.
[Matthew] Whitaker was appointed as Session’s chief of staff on September 22, 2017. Before that, he served for three years as the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), which describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.”
FACT has come under fire for its own lack of transparency, with the Center for Responsive Politics calling attention to FACT’s funding, which in some years came entirely from Donors Trust, an organization also known as the “Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement” and whose own donors include the notorious funders of climate denial, Charles and David Koch.
The Center for Responsive Politics noted in 2016 that this “organization ‘dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency’ gets 100 percent of its funds from a group that exists mainly as a vehicle for donors to elude transparency
In 2014, FACT received $600,000 from Donors Trust — the only donation it reported that year, according to OpenSecrets.org. An additional $500,000 flowed from Donors Trust to FACT in 2015. And in 2016, Donors Trust gave $800,000 to FACT, tax records show.
In 2016, Whitaker earned $402,000 as FACT’s director and president, according to the organization’s tax filings. That followed reported compensation from FACT for Whitaker of $63,000 in 2014, and $252,000 in 2015.