Republican lawyer to defend former Democratic aide accused of identity theft

Accused of stealing secretary of state's identity, trying to link him to unethical behavior

Matthew Whitaker and Zachary Edwards
Matthew Whitaker and Zachary Edwards

A prominent Republican attorney is representing a Democratic operative charged with stealing the identity of Iowa's Republican secretary of state as part of a plot to link him to unethical behavior.

Attorney Matthew Whitaker, who served as U.S. Attorney during the Bush administration, confirmed Thursday Zachary Edwards is his client. But Whitaker said he wasn't authorized to say anything about the case.

Edwards was arrested last week and fired from his job at Link Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm. Edwards worked as director of new media for President Barack Obama's Iowa campaign in 2008.

A criminal complaint says the 29-year-old fraudulently used or attempted to use the identity of Secretary of State Matt Schultz or his brother Thomas with the intent to obtain a benefit. No other details were given.