Politics

Top Republican Requests IG Probe Into Biden’s Potentially ‘Unlawful Actions’ Placing Activists In Regulatory Agency

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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  • Republican Sen. Pat Toomey requested the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) watchdog to review allegations the agency has illegally forced senior officials out.
  • “The political leadership of the [CFPB] under the Biden Administration has been taking unusual and possibly unlawful actions to push out top-level career civil servants at the CFPB in order to fill those civil service positions with hand-picked loyalists,” Toomey wrote in a letter to Inspector General Mark Bialek on Thursday.
  • Since Biden took office in January, senior CFPB officials have been offered generous incentives including early retirement in an effort to make way for individuals more ideologically aligned with the current administration, GovExec reported Monday.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey requested the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s watchdog to review allegations the agency has illegally forced senior officials out.

Sen. Pat Toomey, the Senate Banking Committee’s top Republican, asked Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Inspector General Mark Bialek to review the allegations and potentially open a formal investigation into the matter in a letter sent Thursday afternoon. Toomey referenced a recent Government Executive report, which laid out how President Joe Biden’s administration is using dubious means to force senior CFPB officials to retire.

“The political leadership of the [CFPB] under the Biden Administration has been taking unusual and possibly unlawful actions to push out top-level career civil servants at the CFPB in order to fill those civil service positions with hand-picked loyalists,” Toomey wrote to Bialek. (RELATED: An Exclusive Peek Into Elizabeth Warren’s Luxurious CFPB Headquarters)

“I request that your office promptly review the allegations,” the letter continued. “If found credible, I ask that you open an investigation into whether any CFPB officials—or other officials in the federal government—violated any employment or other laws in connection with the matter described above.”

Toomey also sent letters to Acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio and Biden’s nominee to lead the agency, Rohit Chopra, who currently sits on the Federal Trade Commission, asking for information about the alleged actions occurring at the top regulatory agency. The Pennsylvania Republican gave the officials until next week to provide the requested documents and records to the Banking Committee.

Sen. Pat Toomey speaks during a news conference on May 27. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Pat Toomey speaks during a news conference on May 27. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Since Biden took office in January, senior CFPB officials have been offered generous incentives including early retirement in an effort to make way for individuals more ideologically aligned with the current administration, GovExec reported Monday. The effort has reportedly focused on pushing out a handful of the highest-ranked non-political staffers.

“It was very clear that there was no respect for senior executives that worked at the agency,” an unnamed official who currently works at the CFPB told GovExec. “The way they’re treating career executives is terrible.”

The CFPB even opened an investigation into one top official’s “hiring actions” forcing them to go on paid administrative leave while the probe is conducted, according to GovExec. Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation characterized it as “frivolous” and an attempt to create a vacancy.

“It’s accurate to say there has been a push to get rid of top career people there,” a former CFPB official who left the agency after Biden was sworn in told GovExec. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.” (RELATED: Trump Slams Consumer Financial Protection Bureau As ‘Total Disaster’)

The CFPB notably didn’t deny the allegations when asked, according to GovExec. Toomey noted the lack of any denial from the agency in his letters Thursday.

“We have received the letter from Ranking Member Toomey and are working to prepare a response,” a CFPB spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.

“The recent report in GovExec contains factual errors and draws inaccurate conclusions about the CFPB’s personnel practices,” the statement continued. “The Bureau takes its responsibilities as a federal employer seriously and complies with all applicable laws concerning federal personnel.”

The spokesperson noted that turnover is normal within federal agencies, but wouldn’t comment on specific personnel matters. They also wouldn’t comment specifically on any internal investigations.

“We cannot speak to any specific investigation, but more generally, agencies have an obligation to investigate after receiving complaints from staff about serious management misconduct,” the spokesperson said.

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