Whitaker’s office clearly wanted to give the evangelical right within the Republican Party a trophy, and that trophy was me—one of the state’s most prominent young Democrats at the time. Whitaker is a social conservative who supported the Iowa Christian Alliance, the pre-eminent group in the state for like-minded conservatives. In 2014, he was executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civil Trust (FACT), a conservative watchdog, which Slate described as a “Dark Money-Funded Clinton Antagonist… [which] largely publicized what it described as ethical lapses by prominent Democrats and requested that government agencies and law enforcement investigate them.”
People should be very concerned with Whitaker’s elevation to acting attorney general. The DOJ is supposed to be blind to politics. Whitaker clearly is not.
At the time, I did not realize the full implications of what was happening to me, which had echoes in national politics. The U.S. attorney general at the time, Alberto Gonzales, was involved in a scandal where he was accused of firing eight U.S. prosecutors, who were all previously in good standing with the DOJ, for political reasons. The aforementioned study from the time suggests the DOJ was attacking the Democratic Party at its grassroots. Their insinuations of corruption sapped local Democrats of energy and created suspicion among their constituents.