Embattled CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English giving up leadership fight, leaving bureau

Resigning in wake of Trump naming new official director

While there will still likely be a fight from Democrats over President Donald Trump nominating Office of Budget and Management Deputy Kathy Kraninger to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the messy battle over who would replace former director Richard Cordray on an interim basis appears to be over.

Leandra English, who sued the government after Trump named OMB Director Mick Mulvaney acting director of the bureau, is planning to step down from the consumer agency and give up her fight over the bureau’s leadership, her lawyer announced Friday afternoon.

Just before Cordray stepped down in November, he promoted English from chief of staff to deputy director, positioning her to take over as acting director upon Cordray’s departure.

But the Trump administration fought back against Cordray’s handpicked successor and installed Mulvaney, who frequently criticized the CFPB while serving in Congress, as acting director.

That set off a legal battle over who was really in charge of the CFPB, but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sided with Trump, handing control of the bureau to Mulvaney.

But English didn’t give up, asking Kelly for a preliminary injunction that would have installed English instead of Mulvaney at the CFPB. That request proved unsuccessful, as Kelly denied English’s request for a preliminary injunction, which enabled Mulvaney to maintain control of the CFPB.

English didn’t stop there either, taking her case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which earlier this year, agreed to hear her case on an expedited basis.

But now that Trump has tapped Kraninger to serve as Cordray’s permanent replacement, English is ending her fight over who’s truly in charge of the CFPB and leaving the agency altogether.

“I will be stepping down from my position at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau early next week, having made the decision in light of the recent nomination of a new Director,” English said in a statement posted on Twitter by her attorney Deepak Gupta. “I want to thank all of the CFPB’s dedicated career civil servants for your important work on behalf of consumers. It has been an honor to work alongside you.”

In addition to stepping down from the bureau, English will also move to bring her lawsuit to an end.

“Now that President Trump has decided to seek Senate confirmation of a new Director for the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Ms. English is stepping down and we intend to file court papers Monday to bring the litigation to a close,” English’s legal representation, Deepak Gupta, said.

And so endeth the fight over the true director of the CFPB… at least until Kraninger’s confirmation hearings.

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