Friday, November 30, 2018

The Whole Saturday Night Massacre Thing, Con't

As the Mueller probe reaches the endgame stages it's important to note that so far, we haven't seen Acting AG Matt Whitaker play too much of a role.  He hasn't issued any directives about the Mueller investigation specifically, and if Trump is saving Whitaker for a strike against Mueller, it's already looking like Mueller has already made arrangements that Whitaker can't really stop.

But that doesn't mean Whitaker's surprise appointment isn't in real trouble, and we're learning now just how much of a problem he may end up being for the Trump regime.

New documents released by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission suggest that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker misled the agency’s investigators as he was stepping into his role last year as Justice Department chief of staff.

After several attempts to reach Whitaker about the Miami company where he was on the advisory board, the FTC investigator emailed his colleagues to relay that he finally reached Whitaker, who was willing to cooperate and asserted that he “never emailed or wrote to consumers” in his consulting role.

That statement to James Evans of the FTC appears to be inaccurate. Whitaker had written a letter in 2015 to a disgruntled customer who planned to report the company, World Patent Marketing, to the Better Business Bureau. In the letter, which was included in the FTC’s disclosure and reported previously by the news media, Whitaker threatened the customer, writing: “I am assuming you understand there could be serious civil and criminal consequences for you if that is in fact what you and your ’group’ are doing.”

In the letter, Whitaker noted that he was a former U.S. attorney in Iowa and that he was aware that the customer had complained to the company’s chief executive officer, Scott Cooper, in the past. “I am familiar with your background and your history with Scott,” Whitaker wrote. “Understand that we take threats like this quite seriously.”

President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker acting attorney general after asking Jeff Sessions to step down. That appointment, outside the usual chain of succession, is now being challenged in several court cases.

The documents, produced Friday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, contain internal correspondence among FTC investigators, who are frustrated at being unable to reach Whitaker at several points during 2017.

They show repeated attempts by the FTC to contact Whitaker during 2017, when the agency was investigating complaints about World Patent Marketing, which it described as an “invention promotion scheme” that it accused of “bilking millions of dollars from consumers.”

They also show how shocked the FTC investigators were in October 2017 when -- in the latter stages of their investigation -- Whitaker was suddenly named chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

You’re not going to believe this,” Evans, who works for the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, wrote on Oct. 24, 2017. "Matt Whitaker is now chief of staff to the Attorney General. Of the United States."

Whitaker has been on the FTC's hit list for a while thanks to his patent troll company that apparently bilked consumers out of millions.  He's dirty as hell, but he still ended up as Jeff Sessions's chief of staff, now Acting AG.  And now it seems he lied to investigators.

Whitaker too is going to jail at some point.  The whole Trump regime is crashing down.

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