House Dems launching probe into Whitaker's role in company government deemed a 'scam'

House Dems launching probe into Whitaker's role in company government deemed a 'scam'
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A group of Democratic lawmakers announced on Wednesday that they are launching an investigation into acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's involvement in a company the government deemed a scam. 

"Because Mr. Whitaker was not confirmed by the Senate, both Republican and Democratic constitutional law experts warned that his appointment was, and continues to be, unconstitutional," Reps. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene Cummings5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations Republicans defend drug company in spotlight over HIV medication prices Advocate praises Warren's opioid proposal: 'The scale of the plan is absolutely right' MORE (Md.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) , Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J), and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett Schiff5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations Mueller mystery: Will he ever testify to Congress? Overnight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon MORE (Calif.) said in a joint statement.

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"In addition, because the Senate was not given an opportunity to properly vet Mr. Whitaker's background, serious questions are now arising about his fitness to serve in this position of trust."

The Democrats who signed the statement are likely to to become chairmen of the House Oversight, Judiciary, Intelligence and Energy and Commerce Committees in the next Congress. 

The lawmakers said that they sent seven letters in hopes of receiving documents about Whitaker's role at World Patent Marketing. The letters were sent to people including Whitaker and the former founder and CEO of the company. 

Court filings indicate that Whitaker received regular payments of $1,875 while serving on the company's advisory board.

His role has gained growing scrutiny in the past week since Whitaker was appointed. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered the company to pay a $26 million settlement in May after accusing it of duping aspiring inventors. 

The lawmakers also voiced concerns over reports that Whitaker sent a threatening email to a former customer who had complained about the company in August 2015.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department told CNN last week that Whitaker "has said he was not aware of any fraudulent activity."

Trump announced last week that Whitaker would take over as acting attorney general after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump Appeals court rules Trump end of DACA was unlawful MORE resigned at the president's request. His past business dealings have been under increasing scrutiny since.