CFPB Lawyer Reportedly Said Trump Has Authority To Name Interim Bureau Chief
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s top lawyer wrote in a legal opinion on Saturday that President Donald Trump had the authority to name the interim director for the bureau upon the resignation of Richard Cordray, Politico reported Sunday night.
“It is my legal opinion that the president possesses the authority to designate an acting director for the bureau,” McLeod wrote in the Nov. 25 memo to top CFPB officials obtained by Politico. “I advise all bureau personnel to act consistently with the understanding that Director Mulvaney is the acting director of the CFPB.”
Despite the legal opinion issued in favor of Trump, the CFPB’s deputy director, who was named by outgoing director Richard Cordray as the interim bureau chief, sued the Trump administration on Sunday.
Upon Cordray’s resignation, Trump named Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the interim director of the bureau. However, Cordray chose the bureau’s deputy director, Leandra English, to serve as director until the Senate approves a permanent bureau chief.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Sunday, English argued that the Dodd-Frank Act allows her to take over as interim director.
In a statement to Politico, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that McLeod’s legal opinion shows Trump has the authority to name an interim director.
“Now that the CFPB’s own General Counsel – who was hired under Richard Cordray – has notified the Bureau’s leadership that she agrees with the Administration’s and DOJ’s reading of the law, there should be no question that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director,” Sanders said. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Cordray decided to put his political ambition above the interests of consumers with this stunt.”
Who Is Richard Cordray? (An Obama Hack)
Cordray was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1990. After redistricting, Cordray decided to run for the United States House of Representatives in 1992 but was defeated.
The following year he was appointed by the Ohio Attorney General as the first Solicitor General of Ohio. His experience as Solicitor led to his appearance before the United States Supreme Court to argue six cases, where he had previously clerked. Following Republican victories in Ohio statewide elections in 1994, Cordray left his appointed position and entered the private practice of law.
While in private practice he unsuccessfully ran for Ohio Attorney General in 1998 and the United States Senate in 2000. He was elected Franklin County treasurer in 2002 and re-elected in 2004 before being elected Ohio State Treasurer in 2006.
Cordray was elected Ohio Attorney General in November 2008 to fill the remainder of the unexpired term ending January 2011. In 2010, Cordray lost his bid for re-election to former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine.
On July 17, 2011, President Barack Obama announced he would nominate Cordray to lead the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On January 4, 2012, the White House announced that it would make a recess appointment of Cordray to the post.