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Matthew Whitaker, former US attorney general, joins Kansas City law, public affairs firms

Matthew Whitaker, a former acting U.S. attorney general during the Trump administration, has joined two Kansas City-based teams. 

Whitaker has joined Clout Public Affairs, a division of Axiom Strategies, as a managing director where he will help with business development, client public affairs, and strategy, the company announced Thursday. He will also be a “resource” for clients working with Washington, D.C., and state capitals across the U.S., a news release said. 

Matthew Whitaker (PROVIDED).

“I look forward to joining the Clout and Axiom teams and helping expand their extensive portfolio,” Whitaker said. “Their commitment to excellence and unwavering focus on results has elevated them as one of the best firms in the business. I am eager to get to work advancing the ball and delivering results for our clients.” 

David Polyansky, the Clout Public Affairs president, praised Whitaker’s “diverse” background and experience. 

“Matt will play a critical role in carrying forward Clout’s vision of excellence and senior advisory services,” he said. 

Aside from his work with Clout, Whitaker, 49, has also joined Graves Garrett, a Kansas City-based law firm focused on commercial and business litigation, white collar criminal defense, free speech and election law, corporate compliance, internal investigations, and tax controversies, among other things. 

“Our firm has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Matt both in private practice and in his official capacity with the Department of Justice,” partner Todd Graves said. “We are pleased to have him join us as we advise clients on a range of matters that will benefit from his experience working at the highest levels of leadership within the federal government, as well as his former experience in private practice and in-house counsel roles.” 

Whitaker took over leading the Justice Department following the resignation of Jeff Sessions in November 2018. His time at the Justice Department was mired in scrutiny — from his lack of a Senate confirmation to comments he made, particularly about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Whitaker graduated from the University of Iowa with a master’s degree in business administration, a juris doctor, and a bachelor’s degree in communications. He also played football at Iowa and received the Big Ten Medal of Honor. 

Before leading the Justice Department, Whitaker was chief of staff to Sessions. He also served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa for several years, having been appointed by former President George W. Bush. 

He led the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust as its executive director for a handful of years and was the managing partner of the Des Moines-based firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP. 

Axiom Strategies was founded by Jeff Roe, who ran Sen. Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.