Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in 2014 that judges should be “people of faith” and have “a biblical view of justice,” specifically the New Testament, and was once part of a firm that threatened to sic Israeli commandos on complainants.
Whitaker made his remarks about judges while a Senate candidate in a debate of four Republican hopefuls sponsored by the Iowa Family Leader, a conservative Christian organization. He said he would be “very concerned” by a judge with a “secular worldview.”
The quotes come from a report by a Des Moines Register columnist following the debate.
On Wednesday, Whitaker became the acting attorney general after Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Donald Trump. Whitaker served as chief of staff for Sessions, but has criticized the probe into Russian election meddling, sparking fears of a constitutional crisis.
Whitaker at the debate was responding to a question asked by moderator Erick Erickson, then a popular conservative blogger who later founded the news website the Resurgent, which asked “what criteria” they would use “to block President Obama’s judicial nominees.”
Whitaker in response said he would demand that federal judicial nominees be “people of faith” and “have a biblical view of justice.”
Erickson asked: “Levitical or New Testament?” according to the Register columnist.
“I’m a New Testament,” Whitaker said. “And what I know is as long as they have that world view, that they’ll be a good judge. And if they have a secular worldview, where this is all we have here on Earth, then I’m going to be very concerned about that judge.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Beast reported on Wednesday evening that Whitaker served from 2014 on the advisory board of World Patent Marketing, a firm that federal authorities shut down in 2017 as a fraudulent scheme that bilked inventors of millions of dollars.
The firm also tried to intimidate those who publicly complained by threatening they might have to deal with a “security team” of Israeli ex-special forces operators schooled in Krav Maga.