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 CummingsIncoming House Oversight Committee chairman: First hearing will not be 'what a lot of people expect' Cummings: DOJ should 'definitely' reconsider laws against indicting sitting president Will Congress score headlines or legislative wins in next session? MORE (Md.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) , Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J), and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCummings: DOJ should 'definitely' reconsider laws against indicting sitting president On The Money: Trump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming | Trump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff | China agrees to 3-month freeze of auto tariffs | Dem to seek Deutsche Bank records of Trump's personal finances Schiff plans to obtain Deutsche Bank records of Trump's personal finances 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 SessionsTrump: Sessions 'should be ashamed of himself' for allowing Russia probe to proceed Interior chief Zinke to leave administration Trump, Christie met to discuss chief of staff job: report MORE resigned at the president's request. His past business dealings have been under increasing scrutiny since.