© Reuters. Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks at the Joint Terrorism Task Force office in New York
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker responded to a 2017 fraud query from the Federal Trade Commission by noting his new senior level position at the Justice Department and agreeing to be "very helpful," records released Friday show.
The FTC issued a subpoena last year for Whitaker, seeking records related to his past relationship with World Patent Marketing.
In a voice mail left for an FTC attorney made public Friday, Whitaker said he was unaware of the subpoena to his former law firm, explaining he was in a new job as the chief of staff to then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
After the exchange, one FTC lawyer emailed colleagues to say: "You're not going to believe this… Matt Whitaker is now chief of staff to the Attorney General of the United States."
The FTC told a congressional briefing on Friday that Whitaker did not find any “non-privileged” documents in a search of his email.
World Patent Marketing, a company accused by the government of bilking millions of dollars from consumers, admitted no fault but settled with the FTC for more than $25 million earlier this year. Whitaker was not named in that complaint.
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