According to the Washington Post, acting attorney general Matt Whitaker “stands in vivid contrast to his predecessors whose resumes typically boast judgeships, partnerships at prestigious law firms, and senior roles in the Justice Department. Really?
On what court did Janet Reno serve as a judge? None. She was a partner in a Miami law firm for a year. She had never held a position at the Justice Department before becoming attorney general, though she had been the Dade County state attorney.
John Ashcroft was never a judge, either. He was a career politician, who had served as the attorney general of Missouri. As far as I can tell, he never worked for the Justice Department before becoming attorney general. Nor had he been a partner in a major law firm.
Jeff Sessions was also a career politician. He was never a judge — Democrats saw to that through a smear campaign when President Reagan nominated him. To my knowledge, Sessions was never a partner at a major law firm.
Sessions served two years as Alabama’s attorney general before being elected to the Senate. Previously, he had been a U.S. Attorney. Whitaker has also been a U.S. Attorney. In addition, he was chief-of-staff to former attorney general Sessions for more than a year.
The Post focuses on Whitaker’s background as a business owner and entrepreneur. That background may make Whitaker unique, but it doesn’t make him less qualified than his predecessors. Experience in business may not be a qualification for the attorney general job, but it certainly isn’t a minus. Arguably, it’s a plus.
The Post’s beef with Whitaker isn’t that he hasn’t been a judge or a partner at a major law firm, or that he owned businesses. The Post simply fears that Whitaker will constrain Robert Mueller. Therefore it wanted to run another article disparaging him.
The Post’s article is phony. But its snobbery, though selective, is genuine.