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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's DC headquarters was in a state of controlled confusion Monday as two people — the bureau's Deputy Director Leandra English and President Trump's pick to run the office, Mick Mulvaney, who is still serving as director of the Office of Management and Budget — both said they were the acting director of CFPB. The agency's former director Richard Cordray resigned Friday just before designating English as the CFPB's deputy director and his successor.
English's lawyers filed an emergency motion late Sunday night seeking a temporary restraining order to block Trump from appointing an acting director and stop Mulvaney from exercising any authority as acting director of the bureau while the case moves forward. The case was assigned Monday afternoon to US District Judge Timothy J. Kelly. Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee who was confirmed in September.
English sought the court's help in solidifying her position as acting director even after CFPB General Counsel Mary McLeod wrote a memo advising staff "to act consistently with the understanding that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director of the CFPB."
A senior administration official told reporters Saturday that they expected English to show up to work on Monday. "She’s the deputy director of the CFPB, she should be there on Monday," the official said.
Mulvaney had sent a memo to CFPB staff telling them to "disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as Acting Director," Reuters reported.
Pictured with Mulvaney, going circular from left to right are Gail Hillebrand, the Bureau's Associate Director for consumer education and engagement, Christopher D'Angelo, the Associate Director for supervision, enforcement, and fair lending, and general counsel Mary McLeod.
John Czwartacki told Axios that Mulvaney's first day "could not have been smoother" and that the OMB director had not yet seen English.
The CFPB did not respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting contributed by Zoe Tillman.
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