Welp, it looks like employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau returned from the Thanksgiving break to find their agency transformed into a raging tire fire of Trumpian chaos.
As many of you know, the CFPB is engulfed in a batshit power struggle after Richard Cordray ran away to join the Ohio political circus, giving The Trump White House a clear shot at doing its favorite thing: passively strangling a government agency to death by appointing an anathematic person to run it. In this case, that person is OMB director (and human personification of almost every negative Irish stereotype) Mick Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, who has made his hatred of the CFPB a central tenet of his political career, is by all accounts quite psyched to take the reins at an agency that he publicly referred to as a "a joke...in a sick, sad way." In fact, Mulvaney's OMB staff was tweeting about Mick's bright and early arrival to his newest job, and it appears that he even brought donuts. Cute!
But there's one catch. Cordray named his deputy to succeed him, something that it appears the CFPB director can maybe do, what with the agency being pretty independent from oversight. That deputy, Leandra English, has filed a restraining order against Trump and Mulvaney to keep Lil' Mick away from her job. She also decided that it's her first day running CFPB. According to reports, English emailed staff to welcome them back from the Thanksgiving break and signed off as "Acting Director."
That email prompted Mick Mulvaney to do what Mick Mulvaney does; froth at the mouth with McNapoleonic fury and then act like a sorority sister in the throes of an internecine power struggle:
But Mulvaney quickly installed himself in Cordray’s former office and stood his ground, writing in a staff email an hour later:
“Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as Acting Director,” he said in a memo seen by Reuters. “If you receive additional communications from her today ... please inform the General Counsel.”
Mulvaney also signed off as “acting director” and invited staff to pop by his office on the fourth floor to “grab a donut.”
At least he resisted the urge to write "Your favorite Acting CFPB Director (me)."
The whole insane chain of events was captured beautifully on Twitter by Bloomberg's Anna Massoglia:
So basically, what we have on this Cyber Monday is the Trump Administration forcibly attempting to take control of a controversial regulatory agency in order to declaw it while knocking its teeth out with the human ball-peen hammer that is Mick Mulvaney, and then getting sued by the person who might be supposed to be running it due to bylaws or whatnot.
We've never been particularly fond of how the CFPB has been set up or operated, but this is more than enough to make use root for its long-term survival outside the purview of Mick fucking Mulvaney.