President Trump’s controversial new appointee for Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, is still listed as a registered agent representing 14 different private companies, Iowa state records show.
The companies, all based in Iowa — Whitaker’s home state — span a strikingly diverse array of industries, from road racing event management to childcare. All have active business filings that continue to list Whitaker as their registered agent, according to records reviewed by TYT.
Whitaker’s former law partner and some of the business owners TYT contacted said that Whitaker is no longer involved and that the filings are not up to date. An Iowa state official said companies must report any change in registered agents.
Whitaker’s business dealings have drawn attention from congressional Democrats, who are challenging Whitaker’s appointment in court. The Justice Department on Tuesday released Whitaker’s most recent financial-disclosure form after the legal deadline for doing so, and amid mounting public pressure.
Some of the companies that list Whitaker as a registered agent appear on his new federal disclosure forms, but most do not. The forms only require listing sources of income above $5,000.
Iowa state law requires companies based there to file a statement including the name of their registered agent, Cory Brown, an official with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Services Division told TYT. Whitaker’s name appears on 14 active flings TYT found.
If the filings are accurate, Whitaker’s continued involvement with the companies may run afoul of ethics guidelines. The Justice Department’s ethics office states, “No employee may engage in the practice of law unless it is uncompensated and in the nature of community service, or unless it is on behalf of himself, his parents, spouse or children.”
The restrictions on presidential appointees are even more stringent. “Full-time Presidential appointees may not receive earned income for any outside activity performed during that appointment,” the Justice Department ethics office states. The Justice Department did not respond to TYT’s request for comment.
“If the Registered Agent submitted a Resignation, it would show up on the entity’s Filing History on our website,” Brown explained to TYT. “And the entity would show that there is no Registered Agent on File.”
Asked how long it takes to process filings for Registered Agents, Brown replied via email, “We are currently processing filings that were submitted November 8th, about 5 business days. Once processed, they are immediately reflected on our website.”