VIVA LA CFPB: Disgruntled Staffers Form A Resistance Movement Within The Agency, Using Encrypted Devices
Matt Vespa  | December 06, 2017

What is going on at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? It’s a clown show, or it’s rapidly becoming one. Richard Cordray, the former director of the agency, resigned at the end of November. There’s speculation that he’s mulling a gubernatorial bid in Ohio. Alas, comes the showdown. President Trump tapped Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to run the agency, whereas Cordray had selected Leandra English, his deputy, to take the reins. The fact is the president has the power to appoint a new director, but as Guy noted, liberals saw the CFPB, the temple of of Liz Warren, as so extraordinarily independent that the law doesn’t matter. An interagency war occurred with English signing off emails as acting director, with Mulvaney sending emails of his own instructing staff to disregard English while inviting the rest of the staff up for donuts.  It was an attempted coup, folks. And English filed a lawsuit to effectively block Mulvaney from taking over as acting director; a judge ruled in the Trump administration’s favor on that one. Mulvaney is the acting director, though the lawsuit is still ongoing.  

Guy cited Andrew McCarthy’s breakdown of the current legal situation at the CFPB:

The lawsuit seeking to block this appointment, filed by the CFPB’s deputy director Leandra English — who hopes to take the job herself — is frivolous and offensive...Cordray was quite explicitly attempting to ensure that he, rather than the president, would choose his successor. Under the aforementioned CFPB statute, the deputy director serves as the director “in the absence or unavailability of the director.” Cordray was paving the way for English to argue that his resignation as director creates an “absence or unavailability” that makes her the director as a matter of law.

This is an absurdly strained reading of the statute. What Cordray has created is a vacancy. He is not merely absent or unavailable in the commonsense, temporary understanding of these words; he is gone...Although its progressive champions tout it as “independent,” the CFPB statute explicitly establishes it as an “Executive agency” as that term is defined by federal law. (The definition, in section 105 of Title 5, U.S. Code, includes “independent establishment[s].”) Under the so-called Vacancies Act (i.e., the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998), “if an officer of an Executive agency... whose appointment to the office is required to be made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, ... resigns,” the president has the authority to name as acting director a currently serving federal officer who has been confirmed by the Senate.

Well, in the interim, we have angry CFPB staffers forming “Dumbledore’s Army,” which is fitting since the only books liberals seem to know or read are Harry Potter and The Handmaiden’s Tale. Very fitting actually since both are works of fiction, though the Left sees eerily parallels between these books’ universes and ours. Yeah, I think it’s a load of crap too, but they’re calling themselves that—and they’re using encrypted devices to communicate. It’s a mini-resistance movement within the agency. I mean I can see why they’re mad; Mulvaney is rolling back the CFPB. Alas, elections have consequences don’t they (via NYT) [emphasis mine]:

The defanging of a federal consumer watchdog agency began last week in a federal courthouse in San Francisco.

After a nearly three-year legal skirmish, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appeared to have been victorious. A judge agreed in September with the bureau that a financial company had misled more than 100,000 mortgage customers. As punishment, the judge ordered the Ohio company, Nationwide Biweekly Administration, to pay nearly $8 million in penalties.

All that was left was to collect the cash. Last week, lawyers from the consumer bureau filed an 11-page brief asking the judge to force Nationwide to post an $8 million bond while the proceedings wrapped up.

Then Mick Mulvaney was named the consumer bureau’s acting director.

Barely 48 hours later, the same lawyers filed a new two-sentence brief. Their request: to withdraw their earlier submission and no longer take a position on whether Nationwide should put up the cash.

It was a subtle but unmistakable sign that the consumer bureau under Mr. Mulvaney is headed in a new direction — one that takes a lighter touch to regulating the financial industry. The reversal is part of a broad push by the Trump administration to unfetter companies from Obama-era regulations.

[…]

Some employees, including a few of the bureau’s top officials, have welcomed their new leader. Others, pointing to Mr. Mulvaney’s earlier hostility toward the agency and its mission, are quietly resisting. One small group calls itself “Dumbledore’s Army,” according to two of the people who were familiar with their discussions. The name is a reference to a secret resistance force in the “Harry Potter” books.

An atmosphere of intense anxiety has taken hold, several employees said. In some cases, conversations between staff that used to take place by phone or text now happen almost exclusively in person or through encrypted messaging apps.

One, please read another book and two, this is government service. If you feel you can’t stomach it, resign and do something else. It’s really not that hard. You’re not the French Resistance—move on if you need to for God’s sake.  

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