Fact Check: No, Nancy -- Leandra English is in No Way the 'Rightful Acting Director' of CFPB

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 4:15 PM

Congressional Democratic leaders plumbed new depths of absurdity last night, as Nancy Pelosi -- who's really on a hot streak these days -- tweeted that Leandra English is the "rightful Acting Director" of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Back in the reality-based community, Ms. English is literally not the "acting director" of anything, "rightfully" or otherwise.  Pelosi may consider herself the "rightful" Speaker of the House, or the "rightful" fiancee of Prince Harry, but there are important differences between delusional beliefs and actual facts (right, Democrats?).  Here is the delusional belief, which Cortney highlighted earlier:

By contrast, I outlined the actual facts in my post yesterday: The law dictates that the President of the United States has the authority to fill executive agency vacancies like the one created by Richard Cordray's resignation from CFPB last week.  The cockamamie "resistance" legal argument is that this fresh but permanent vacancy merely amounts to the director being "absent or unavailable," so his hastily-named deputy is the heir to the position.  This spin was so unpersuasive that even the CFPB's own general counsel explicitly rejected it.  And if that wasn't enough, a federal judge ruled late yesterday that the law is, in fact, binding -- and that President Trump acted within his legitimate power in naming Cordray's interim replacement:

A federal judge refused to block President Trump’s choice of budget director Mick Mulvaney from serving as acting director of the prominent federal consumer watchdog agency on Tuesday, denying a request by Leandra English, the No. 2 official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to serve in his stead. In denying English’s request for a temporary restraining order, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly acknowledged that the case raised consitutional issues. Former CFPB litigation counsel Deepak Gupta, who represented English, said she would weigh her next step...The Trump administration applauded the decision and said it supports its contention that Mulvaney is the rightful acting director.  “It’s time for the Democrats to stop enabling this brazen political stunt by a rogue employee and allow Acting Director Mulvaney to continue the Bureau’s smooth transition into an agency that truly serves to help consumers,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.

None of that stopped Pelosi from literally celebrating lawlessness and advocating an effective illegal coup at the top of a wildly powerful and unaccountable federal bureaucracy.  The Washington Post story reporting the judge's decision was published just after 5pm Eastern Time yesterday.  Pelosi's tweet is time stamped 7pm.  She made her reckless assertion hours after the ruling came down.  As I wrote previously, borrowing from the Left's favorite panicked term these days (which sometimes very much applies), this is not normal.  Incidentally, if CFPB's own lawyer refused to side with English, is she paying out of pocket for her own outside counsel in this matter?  Hmm: 

Secret donors are financing the lawsuit against President Donald Trump and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney over who runs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Deepak Gupta, the lead lawyer of a boutique law firm that launched its suit on behalf of CFPB acting director Leandra English, confirmed in a CNBC interview that English is not paying for his hourly fees, but rather unknown anonymous donors are. Gupta refused to name who is funding the lawsuit, making it difficult to ascertain the motives, intentions, or any special interests of those underwriting the case. The D.C. lawyer appeared caught off guard when CNBC hosts asked who was financing his effort. He stumbled over his words in his first answer and said some form of unidentified “structure” was being put in place to accept funds from anonymous donors.

The left-wing, unelected leaders of an unaccountable federal agency are scheming and suing to circumvent the rule of law, and their legal efforts are being funded by...someone. No comment. Fascinating. Parting thought: The White House's appropriately scathing statement refers to English as a "rogue employee."  That's quite right.  Shouldn't she be fired?