In order to truly "drain the swamp," newly-appointed United States President Joe Biden fired three of Trump's "most notorious" appointees.
Shortly before former United States President Donald Trump exited the White House, many of his "most notorious" appointees resigned from their posts. Nonetheless, some of them stayed on despite their disagreement with the November 2020 election results—that is, until newly-appointed President Joe Biden ousted them. The three "most unqualified and corrupt appointees" he fired include Michael Pack, the head of the US Agency for Global Media; Kathleen Kraninger, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Peter Robb, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel. The terminations were intended to send a message, Mark Joseph Stern writing for Slate reports: "Biden will not tolerate hostile Trump holdovers in his administration, including those with time remaining in their terms."
Pack was appointed to head the US Agency for Global Media, which oversees the international broadcaster Voice of America, in June last year. He hoped to transform the agency into what can only be described as a Trump propaganda machine (despite laws that prevent political interference). One of his first measures was purging the staff at VOA and its sister networks. He replaced these staff members with Trump loyalists and demanded pro-Trump coverage. Those who sought to do actual, unbiased reporting on the Trump administration were swiftly and unconstitutionally punished for their actions. Most notably, Pack denied the renewal of visas for foreign reporters who covered news about their home countries, inevitably subjecting them to retribution by authoritarian regimes. He also replaced the board of the Open Technology Fund, which promotes international internet freedom, with Republican activists.
Biden has fired Michael Pack — the Trump appointee who, under Bannon’s tutelage, utterly gutted VOA and tried to make it into an authoritarian-style mouthpiece.— Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) January 21, 2021
Good riddance. What a disgrace all these clowns have been. https://t.co/mD0xVp4OJJ
The US Office of Special Counsel found a "substantial likelihood" that Pack had defied federal law and engaged in "gross mismanagement" following several whistleblower complaints. Therefore, only eight months into what would have been a three-year term, Biden forced him to resign from his post. Pack noted in his resignation letter that his dismissal would "long be viewed as a partisan act." Perhaps the irony was indeed lost on him.
UPDATE: President Biden names senior VOA news executive Keli Chao as acting CEO over its parent agency, the US Agency for Global Media.— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) January 21, 2021
Chao had been named whistleblower in lawsuit that successfully alleged illegal acts by Michael Pack, whom she replaces https://t.co/SAbOdv9sFM
Although Kraninger had no previous experience in consumer protection, she was appointed the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. She almost instantly attempted to undermine the agency's role as a watchdog for the financial sector. She trashed a landmark rule that restricted predatory payday lending, refused to enforce a federal law that safeguarded military personnel from a broad range of predatory lending, and even passed a rule that permits debt collectors to practically harass American citizens with unending texts and emails demanding repayment in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.
This is the kind of thing Kathleen Kraninger was doing at the CFPB. She had ZERO experience in that role. https://t.co/o2wCRXlpZT— Majax🏳️🌈 (@Majax16) January 21, 2021
Congress granted the CFPB’s director major independence through blocking the President from terminating her over political disagreements, which would have protected her. However, the Supreme Court found this protection unconstitutional in 2020. As Kraninger supported the decision, she opened the doors for her own dismissal on Wednesday. Had the Supreme Court not intervened, she would have kept her position until 2023.
Kathleen Kraninger announced Wednesday that she has stepped down as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. https://t.co/PiZplBjbDK pic.twitter.com/UxNgF6poyC— Law360 (@Law360) January 20, 2021
In 2017, Robb assumed his position as the general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board. The board was created in order to enforce federal laws that gave workers the right to form a union and bargain collectively. His appointment was rather strange as Robb is vehemently anti-union. This was reflected in his actions as general cousel: he attempted to restrict employees’ free speech, allow managers greater opportunity to commit wage theft, weaken unions’ ability to collect dues, and limit employers from helping workers unionize. Additionally, he consolidated power in his office by demoting every regional director so as to take almost total control of the NLRB.
Breaking: Biden has asked the NLRB's general counsel Peter Robb to resign.— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) January 20, 2021
Robb -- who is is known for his aggressive anti-union, pro-business positions -- is the first NLRB general counsel to be forced out in more than 50 years. https://t.co/WtiuHKq8uu
On Wednesday evening, Robb asserted in a statement that he had no plans to step down voluntarily. He claimed his resignation "would set an unfortunate precedent." In actuality, the precedent had already been historically set—in 1950, President Harry Truman demanded that NLRB general counsel Robert N. Denham resign over political disputes. While Robb's term was set to end in November, President Biden fired him shortly after his announcement.
NEW: White House official confirmed for me that Joe Biden just fired Peter Robb after he refused to resign as NLRB general counsel.— Dave Jamieson (@jamieson) January 21, 2021