Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

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The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) is a group which says it was founded in 2014 and has been described as "a conservative counterweight" to watchdog the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. FACT describes itself as "dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas by hanging a lantern over public officials who put their own interests over the interests of the public good, and its mission as strengthing "our republic by demanding the truth."[1]

In 2014, FACT's funding came entirely from DonorsTrust. The group was led by Matthew Whitaker -- who served as Trump's acting United States Attorney General -- from October 2014 to September 2017.[2][3] According to Slate, FACT reports on what it sees "as ethical lapses by prominent Democrats and requested that government agencies and law enforcement investigate them—especially if they were Hillary Clinton."

"FACT’s origins and the source of funding" remain "obscure" according to the Washington Post. An investigation alleges that the group was created under a different name two years before 2014, according to incorporation and IRS records." In 2012, Raymond Wotring filed papers to create the "Free Market American Educational Foundation" with the stated mission to “conduct research and provide informational studies on free market concepts in relation to government regulations and policy.” The Washington Post reports that group as well as "Americans for Limited Government" were tied to what eventually became FACT.[4]

Some of the people listed as members of the board for FACT's alleged predecessor say that they "never agreed to join" or "did not remember anything about the group." One person listed as a board member said “the organization only existed on paper and didn’t do anything at all.”[4]

Whitaker joined the group now known as FACT in 2014 after losing a primary bid for a U.S. Senate seat. That year he was paid "$63,000 for three months of work, 30 hours a week, as president and director." FACT billed itself as a "new group." It received $600,000 in donations from DonorsTrust.[4] Whitaker's salary at FACT "rose sharply each year." In 2017, Whitaker was paid $55,000 a month, In all, he earned $1,219,000 — more than a third of the donations the group received from 2014 to 2017.

In the three years he worked at the charity, Whitaker’s pay rose sharply each year, tax filings show. Last year, he was paid $55,000 a month in 2017. Whitaker was paid $1,219,000 during his time at FACT. According to the Huffington Post, "in 2016 he earned more than twice what leaders of similar groups were paid on average that year. Most of Whitaker's pay came from DonorsTrust — in 2015 all but .0004 percent of the funding was from Donor's Trust.[5]

The actions of FACT, which were "overwhelmingly focused on Democrats,"[4] may have violated its tax-exempt status, according to the Associated Press.[5]


  1. Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust about organizational website, accessed Feb. 2019
  2. MATTHEW ZEITLIN The New Acting Attorney General Was Previously a Dark Money–Funded Clinton Antagonist Slate November 7, 2018
  3. Viveca Novak and Anna Massoglia New nonprofit tied to stealthy circle of dark money groups Open Secrets April 15, 2016
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Robert O'Harrow Jr., Shawn Boburg and Aaron C. Davis Conservative nonprofit with obscure roots and undisclosed funders paid Matthew Whitaker $1.2 million Washington Post November 20, 2018
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jeff Don [Matthew Whitaker Led Foundation That May Have Violated Tax-Exempt Status] Associated Press Nov 10, 2018