House Democrats target Whitaker's involvement in 'scam' company

House Democrats are kicking off ...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 4:17 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 4:17 PM

House Democrats are kicking off their investigations into the Trump administration by probing acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker's connections to a Florida company that was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission over what court documents called "a scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars."

The top Democrats on the House Oversight, Judiciary, Intelligence and Energy and Commerce Committees jointly sent seven letters requesting documents and briefings about Whitaker's role on the advisory board of the company, World Patent Marketing, which was hit with a $26 million judgment when it was shut down earlier this year.

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Intellectual property

Law and legal system

Matt Whitaker

Patents

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US House of Representatives

US political parties

The letters represent an opening salvo of how House Democrats plan to investigate the Trump administration when they take over in January. The letters from the four presumptive incoming chairmen — Reps. Elijah Cummings of Oversight, Jerry Nadler of Judiciary, Adam Schiff of Intelligence and Frank Pallone of Energy and Commerce — suggest the committees are preparing, at least initially, to jointly investigate targets that multiple panels are interested in.

Whitaker's appointment following the firing of Jeff Sessions last week has been slammed by Democrats as potentially unconstitutional, as well as an effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation Whitaker has publicly criticized.

"Our very first witness after January 3, we will subpoena, or we will summon, if necessary subpoena, Mr. Whitaker," Nadler told CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday on "State of the Union."

On Wednesday, the Justice Department issued a memo saying Whitaker's appointment was constitutional.

But the new letters show that Democrats' plans to scrutinize Whitaker's past in addition to the fact he wasn't confirmed by the Senate or his potential hostility to the Mueller probe, which he is now supervises.

In 2014, Whitaker was named an advisory board member to World Patent Marketing, a company that promised to help investors get patents. Federal Election Commission filings show the company's owner donated to Whitaker's 2014 Senate campaign, and a payment record shows Whitaker was paid at least $9,375 by the company from October 2014 to February 2016.

Court records in the FTC case, which the company agreed to a settlement with the FTC in May, show Whitaker was involved enough to accuse a customer of "blackmail or extortion" when the customer threatened to complain to the Better Business Bureau.

DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said last week that Whitaker "has said he was not aware of any fraudulent activity. Any stories suggesting otherwise are false."

The Democratic letters were sent to Whitaker, former World Patent Marketing CEO Scott Cooper, the FTC, the Patent and Trademark Office, the Postal Inspection Service and the New York and Southeast Florida offices of the Better Business Bureau.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51612

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12074693
Lake5650249
Elkhart361860
Allen2952134
St. Joseph214869
Hamilton1708101
Cass16459
Hendricks1466100
Johnson1345118
Porter84038
Tippecanoe7799
Vanderburgh7686
Clark71144
Madison67864
LaPorte62328
Howard60758
Bartholomew60145
Kosciusko5824
Marshall5579
Noble52028
Boone49144
LaGrange48610
Jackson4783
Delaware47552
Hancock46836
Shelby45925
Floyd41444
Monroe34828
Morgan34531
Grant32226
Dubois3096
Montgomery29820
Henry29618
Clinton2903
White27610
Dearborn26523
Warrick26129
Vigo2588
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Harrison21822
Greene19632
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1586
Daviess15117
Perry14910
Steuben1382
Orange13723
Jasper1362
Ripley1347
Franklin1288
Gibson1242
Wabash1163
Carroll1142
Starke1083
Whitley1076
Fayette1067
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells821
Randolph804
Fulton731
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush623
Posey610
Spencer571
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 65592

Reported Deaths: 3058
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12035447
Cuyahoga9208399
Hamilton6950208
Lucas3007306
Marion274839
Montgomery251336
Summit2351209
Pickaway222741
Mahoning1948239
Butler186347
Columbiana138560
Stark1225116
Lorain115269
Trumbull105378
Warren100926
Clark81610
Delaware72415
Fairfield69217
Lake60923
Tuscarawas60910
Medina58932
Licking58312
Belmont57024
Miami51031
Portage50260
Clermont4977
Wood49451
Ashtabula44844
Geauga42843
Richland3786
Wayne37355
Allen36641
Greene3469
Mercer30210
Erie28622
Holmes2615
Darke25926
Huron2472
Madison2229
Ottawa19324
Sandusky16915
Athens1671
Ross1483
Washington14620
Coshocton1424
Putnam14215
Crawford1415
Hardin12312
Morrow1211
Jefferson1152
Auglaize1114
Muskingum1041
Union1021
Preble911
Clinton892
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence860
Guernsey813
Hocking819
Williams762
Shelby754
Logan711
Scioto710
Carroll703
Ashland682
Fulton670
Brown631
Wyandot635
Champaign551
Fayette550
Knox551
Defiance543
Highland531
Van Wert491
Perry461
Seneca412
Henry350
Paulding320
Jackson300
Pike290
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia211
Harrison141
Noble140
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Warmer Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events