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Federal judge sides with Trump in fight over CFPB director

Trump’s pick to take control of bureau

A federal judge ruled in favor of Donald Trump Tuesday, allowing his pick of acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to stay in power.

This past weekend, the CFPB erupted into chaos as two leaders showed up to the office as acting director – and no one knew who to follow.

The judge blocked a restraining order issued by CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s pick for acting director. Cordray appointed Leandra English as acting director to “ensure a smooth transition.”

But President Donald Trump didn’t agree with Cordray’s pick, or his right to choose anyone, and nominated Mick Mulvaney, who currently serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget and has long been outspoken about his dislike for the CFPB, as the acting director just hours later.

As the power struggle began, English responded by taking out a restraining order on Mulvaney…and the president. In the order, she refers to Mulvaney as, “the person claiming to be acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

But now, a federal judge struck that order down, according to an article by Jim Pizzanghera by the Los Angeles Times. The ruling was issued by Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who was nominated this year by Trump and took his seat on the court in September.

English submitted this restraining order because, according to Democratic Senators, who are backing English, the Dodd-Frank Act specifies that in the absence of a director, the deputy director would take over until the Senate confirmed a new director.

However, lawyers recently pointed out the Vacancies Act overrides Dodd-Frank, saying “the President (and only the President) may direct a person who serves in an office for which appointment is required to be made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to perform the functions and duties of the vacant office temporarily in an acting capacity.”

Federal Judge Kelly agreed with this stance as he denied English’s restraining order, making Mulvaney the current CFPB acting director.

And experts are stepping up to welcome the new acting director, saying they stand behind the president’s pick. Of course, Mulvaney’s position is only temporary until the Senate confirms a permanent CFPB director.

Attorney General Pam Bondi joined five other attorneys general to support Mulvaney as Director of the CFPB. In a letter to Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the attorney generals expressed their support for the President to select the acting director, not the outgoing agency head.

“I fully support the President’s decision to appoint Mick Mulvaney as the director of the CFPB,” Bondi said. “Executive staff at the CFPB should strive to protect consumers from abusive powers, as the agency’s mission claims, not cause turmoil and instability throughout a federal protection agency.”

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