Just over a year ago, Matthew Whitaker was practicing at the small Iowa law firm he started with two other partners, united by close connections to the state’s Republican party and a commitment to “faith, family, state and country,” according to one of the firm’s founders.

Now Whitaker finds himself serving as his country’s acting attorney general, after the exit of his former boss, Jeff Sessions, and is facing criticism over his public criticisms last year of the special counsel investigation.

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