Leandra English Waves The White Flag In The Battle Over The CFPB

Thomas Phippen | Reporter

The shadow director of the controversial consumer finance bureau has resigned and plans to drop her legal challenge against the agency, clearing the way for President Donald Trump’s nominee to take the helm.

Leandra English, who was appointed acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by former director Richard Cordray before he left in November, filed a lawsuit for the job when Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney, also the director of the Office of Management and Budget, as interim chief.

“I will be stepping down from my position at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau early next week, having made this decision in light of the recent nomination of a new Director,” English said in a statement posted on Twitter by her attorney, Deepak Gupta.

Trump nominated Kathy Kraninger to lead the CFPB June 16. Mulvaney would have had to resign as interim head June 22 if Trump didn’t nominate anyone to go through Senate confirmation.

“I want to thank all of the CFPB’s dedicated career civil servants for your important work on behalf of consumers,” English said.

Gupta said he will file paperwork to withdraw the lawsuit Monday now that the administration will seek Senate confirmation.

Statements of Leandra English and Deepak Gupta regarding litigation over the leadership of the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pic.twitter.com/PoOZqKk0LR

It’s not clear what English has been doing at the CFPB since Mulvaney took over late 2017. She moved to the CFPB’s small San Francisco office, far away from Mulvaney’s space in the Washington, D.C., headquarters and may have worked on her lawsuit on official government time. (EXCLUSIVE: CFPB’s Leandra English Prepared Legal Case Against Trump On Government Time, Sources Say)

The legal fight kicked off when Cordray, nominated by former President Barack Obama to be the CFPB’s first director, abruptly resigned in his bid for Ohio governor.

The CFPB director, by design, suffers little oversight from Congress, a structure that some federal courts have ruled as unconstitutional in ongoing legal cases.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the architects and perennial champion of the CFPB’s progressive work, has vowed to work against Kraninger’s confirmation.

“Kathy Kraninger, has no track record of helping consumers,” Warren said in a tweet June 19. “That’s bad news for seniors, servicemembers, students — and anyone else who doesn’t want to get cheated.”

Kraninger was most recently an associate director of OMB under Mulvaney, but has taken heat for being part of the government team that set up the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11.

“Kathy Kraninger helps oversee the agencies that are ripping kids from their parents,” Warren continued. “I will put a hold on her nomination – & fight it at every step – until she turns over all documents about her role in this.”

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