Government

Obama CFPB Lackey Sues to Limit Trump

Outgoing director of the Dodd-Frank agency names replacement in a politically calculated #Resistance move.

Thomas Gallatin · Nov. 27, 2017

Bureaucracy is as bureaucracy does. Barack Obama lackey Richard Cordray recently announced his resignation from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and formally resigned the day after Thanksgiving. Before stepping down, however, Cordray named his deputy director, Leandra English, as his replacement. This was clearly a political play by Cordray, who is seeking to become the Democrat candidate for the Ohio governor race in 2018, to counter Donald Trump’s chosen temporary director, Mick Mulvaney. As we wrote recently, the CFPB, created by the monstrous financial regulatory behemoth known as Dodd-Frank, is essentially a rogue agency answerable to almost no one, and Corday’s selection of English is a deliberate attempt to keep it that way.

Upon Cordray’s resignation announcement, Trump tapped current Office of Management and Budget Director Mulvaney, who has been vocal in his criticism of the agency, to serve as the interim director of the CFPB. Mulvaney showed up Monday morning to take the role, notwithstanding English’s also claiming the title. “Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as acting director,” Mulvaney told employees.

Under the law, the president has the right to name a temporary acting head to any executive agency who has already been confirmed by the Senate to another position, which Mulvaney has been. In other words, Trump is on solid legal ground. Even the CFPB’s general counsel, Mary McLeod, agreed with this view, writing in an internal memo, “Questions have been raised whether the president has the authority under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) to designate Mick Mulvaney … as Acting Director of CFPB following the resignation of Richard Cordray as of midnight, Friday, November 24, 2017. This confirms my oral advice to the Senior Leadership Team that the answer is ‘yes.’”

And yet for Democrats, the #Resistance must go on, irrespective of questions of legality. English has now filed a lawsuit against Trump over his appointment of Mulvaney, claiming that she was the “rightful acting director” because the authority to name a successor lay not with the president but with the outgoing director. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) responded to English’s lawsuit by calling for her removal: “The president should fire her immediately and anyone who disobeys Director Mulvaney’s order should also be fired summarily. The Constitution and the law must prevail against the supposed resistance.”

Now the issue will be settled by the courts, which many legal experts believe is almost assuredly a victory for Trump. The irony for leftists is that while Obama was in office they eagerly promoted and pushed to extend the power of the executive branch. But now that Trump is in office, Democrats are pivoting in order to placate their base. In continuing the resistance, they’re only continuing to alienate the rest of the country.

Click here to show comments